Rodgers calls on Liverpool players to find their way past frustration

Manager's motto is to make Plan A better, instead of adopting Plan B
Steven Gerrard, right, and his Liverpool teammates react with dejection after allowing the second goal in a 2-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea at Anfield Stadium on April 27, 2014. Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Steven Gerrard, right, and his Liverpool teammates react with dejection after allowing the second goal in a 2-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea at Anfield Stadium on April 27, 2014. Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says it is up to his players to find solutions to what will become an increasingly regular problem – frustration.

Last Sunday’s defeat at home to Chelsea saw Jose Mourinho employ a blanket defence to deny Liverpool their usual attacking thrust and, in chasing the game at 1-0 down, the side lost their composure in the final quarter.

The players diverted from the game plan and started shooting from range and throwing hopeful crosses into the box in an attempt to break down resolute opponents.

Both tactics of both teams have been dissected in the past seven days and Rodgers has done plenty of assessment himself over what they could improve on.

“I have analysed the game once or twice,” the Northern Irishman said. “The job for me this week was to help the players find the solutions in those type of games.

“We have shown over the course of the season we can play in many different ways and our ability to score goals has been there.

“I analysed the game last week and I thought there were lots of parts of our game that were very good, but we needed to find solutions in the final third.

“If a team plays with six along the back line and three midfield players, it is my job to find a solution and that is something I’ve looked at this week.”

Liverpool are likely to face more of the same tactics with tomorrow’s trip to Selhurst Park. They face a well-organised Crystal Palace while needing to win to reclaim first place from Manchester City, who beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

However, fans should not expect a radical change as Rodgers’ motto is always to make Plan A better, instead of adopting Plan B.

“You are always going to get that criticism when you try to play and work and pass the ball. It is something I’ve had since I was a young coach,” he said.

“What we did do was run out of patience in the [Chelsea] game and – playing games in the Champions League next season – we are going to have more games like that.

“That is something we will look to improve on, but it is something I believe is one of my strengths.

“I learn fairly quickly and the great thing about my players is they are also great learners.

“When they reflected, they know we played well in a lot of the game but our patience ran out in the last 20 minutes.

“We are not perfect, I have always said that, and this will help in our development.

“We had 73 per cent possession, but the focus for us is on the dangerous possession and in that final third we didn’t have enough – and that is something we will work on.”

sports@thenational.ae

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Published: May 3, 2014 04:00 AM

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