Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Rodgers won't ease up on Liverpool's throttle

Updated: 2014-02-25 07:31
By Agence France-Presse in Liverpool ( China Daily)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his team will continue its attacking style of football in a bid for its first league title in 24 years.

A 4-3 victory over Rodgers' former club Swansea City on Sunday kept Liverpool within four points of first place and gave it a six-point cushion over Tottenham Hotspur in the battle for a top-four finish.

The display was also in stark contrast to the performances and fortunes of title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, which both ground out 1-0 victories 24 hours earlier.

With 70 league goals to date, Liverpool has now overtaken City as the division's leading offense, and even though poor defending left Rodgers with cause for concern, he said he will not alter his approach.

"It's not our style," said Rodgers.

"I work always to play good football. I'm not one that's totally satisfied about results.

"It's the point of the season that's about winning; that's what professional sport is about at this level.

"But for us, I'll always concentrate on performance because the consequence of performing well consistently is you get results. We've shown that this season.

"There have not been too many times when we have talked about hard luck stories. And today (Sunday) we weren't quite at our best, but we scored four goals and won the game."

Two goals each from Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson secured victory and means Liverpool has now taken 31 points from the last 33 available at Anfield.

However, Swansea's Wilfried Bony also scored twice, while former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey added another, as the visiting side exposed the defensive weaknesses that may yet cause Rodgers some sleepless nights.

"Don't get me wrong - I'd take a clean sheet and a 1-0 win, absolutely," Rodgers added. "We didn't defend anywhere near well enough today.

"It's mistakes or decision-making that is costing us and there is no doubt we will continue to work on that side of it."

The victory also saw Sturridge equal Ruud van Nistelrooy's Premier League record of scoring in eight consecutive league games.

The feat earned the forward glowing praise from Rodgers, who said: "He's just a natural scorer and he gave us a great start with a really good finish.

"His second goal is an area of his game he has been looking to improve. It was a lovely ball from Luis Suarez and he finished it with a great header.

"It looks like he can score every single game. He has good ability, good quality. There is a lot of improvement to come as well."

Henderson continues to enjoy one of the most eye-catching Premier League transformations of recent years after a difficult start under former manager Kenny Dalglish.

"Jordan showed great leadership today. You could see him driving the team on," said Rodgers.

"The most pleasing thing for me was his second goal because he has the legs and energy to do that.

"We talk to the midfield players about not only getting into the area but getting into the six-yard box, and that is where his second goal came from. That was the big one for us."

Meanwhile, Rodgers' former Swansea player Garry Monk, now in charge of the Welsh club, has no doubt that Liverpool is a genuine title contender.

"Why not?" said Monk. "They are up there and it is not out of their grasp. I'm sure that they will be thinking that themselves."

 Rodgers won't ease up on Liverpool's throttle

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates his second goal against Swansea during their English Premier League match in Liverpool on Sunday. Darren Staples / Reuters

(China Daily 02/25/2014 page23)