Sunday 17 December 2017

Rodgers adamant Liverpool season right on track

Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists the side remain on track with his targets, but knows they cannot afford to lose momentum in the crucial month ahead.

Despite the weekend's surprise 3-1 defeat at Hull dropping them to fourth in the table, the Reds boss does not think that has adversely affected their overall position.

With seven matches to come in the next 30 days, Rodgers knows there is plenty of scope to consolidate their position inside the top four but also accepts any slip ups could be magnified over a packed festive programme.

Liverpool have an ideal chance to bounce back with successive home matches against Norwich and West Ham this week and Rodgers (right) is keen for them to respond. "In the time I've been here we've never lost two (league) games on the spin and that's really down to the positivity of the players and how they can bounce back and recover after a defeat," he said.

"It's that type of league; if you lose a game, you can drop a few places. If you win a couple of games on the spin, it will keep you up there. Our idea was to get through to the midway point being in and around the top positions, which we have been until now.

"The league has shown this year, as much as any other time at this level, that it's very unpredictable and (Hull) probably suggested that.

"But you can't dwell on it. You've got to refocus and reset and go again and that's what we will look to do. We just need to get over the disappointment – which we will do.

"I always have to look at the bigger picture and, for me, the bigger picture is still very bright. At this moment in time, we sit fourth; if we win here, we could be second again.

"We're not here to be second or great losers, we're here to win. We've shown that we have the capacity to do that consistently now. The only way you can respond is to put your head down, take whatever comes and work tirelessly going forward to get the result.

Visiting boss Chris Hughton has found himself under pressure in recent weeks and even Saturday's crucial win over Crystal Palace will not afford him that much respite.

Rodgers, however, felt the 54-year-old was generally under-appreciated.

"I don't think Norwich know what they have," he said.

"Everyone knows he's one of the really nice guys in football, but what never gets mentioned is that he is an outstanding coach.

"I remember the job he took over when he went to Newcastle. That summer they were in massive turmoil and he stayed through that season to win the league (Championship)."

Irish Independent

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