Monday 24 October 2016

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool lacking confidence

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side need to rebuild their confidence after more problems at Anfield.

The 1-1 draw against Norwich, in which they had taken the lead, followed on the back of a 3-0 humbling by West Ham.

In three home games they have scored just twice and earned four points and with four matches without a win in all competitions, Rodgers accepts morale needs a boost.

"We have to build that confidence through training and games. It is just step by step," he said.

"You have to have courage and bravery to play here.

"There is a great history but embrace it. You have to play positive football.

"There was a feeling of anxiety when I came in. We made it a fortress. Now we are having to build it again."

Half-time substitute Danny Ings, who scored his first goal for the club, offered some positivity with a much-needed injection of energy while Alberto Moreno, on his first start of the campaign, was also lively.

The sight of Daniel Sturridge back on the field after five months on the sidelines after a hip operation was another welcome boost.

"He is a way off full fitness. His presence and stature will give us something. It is about building his fitness. There is no pressure on him to do that," he added.

Norwich captain Russell Martin had a "sensational" 24 hours after a mad dash home from Merseyside for the birth of his third child before returning to score the equaliser at Anfield.

The 29-year-old had travelled up with the team and was preparing for the game against Liverpool when he got the call to go home.

He made it in time for the arrival of his yet-to-be-named son, weighing in at 8lbs, and then had a swift turnaround to get back for the 4pm kick-off after no sleep and then promptly scored.

"It has been a long but sensational 24 hours," said the defender, after covering 750 miles with another 250 still to do to get back to the newborn.

"I flew up with the squad yesterday. My wife had had no twinges at that point and then she rang me at 7 o'clock to say she had started to feel some contractions but wasn't sure whether they were Braxton Hicks false ones or not.

"I said 'Give it a couple of hours' and then she rang me at 10.30 to say 'This is it, this is happening'.

"One of the sports scientists had brought my car fortunately in case I had to get back.

"Me and the player liaison took two hours each in the car driving back and I took her (his wife) to hospital and we got there about four in the morning and she gave birth at 9.25am.

"I had to leave at half-10 as I spoke to the management and they were keen for me to play.

"I got here a bit late, missed the captains' meeting, ran in, got dressed, was ready with the lads, scored a goal - brilliant.

It will be a great story to tell the wee man.

"I hadn't slept a wink. I was running on empty towards the end - I was absolutely gone - but it was a great day and it makes it all worth it."

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