Brendan Rodgers Demands Liverpool Consistency After Reds Fall to Stoke City

Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger and Glen JohnsonBrendan Rodgers reflected on Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium and reiterated calls for his side to be more consistent in their play.

The Reds took the lead after two minutes against Tony Pulis’ side on Wednesday night; however, Jonathan Walters equalized before Kenwyne Jones added a second and Walters made it 3-1.

“I said during the week and last week that [consistency] will be the biggest thing for the group,” explained the manager during his postgame news conference.

“We were terrific at the weekend [against Fulham] but you have got to be able to put a run of games together — if not you just keep taking two or three steps forward and making one or two back and then going again.

“That’s been the nature of the group over the last couple of years in terms of where we have finished. We’re looking to improve that. There is still an awful lot of work to do.

“We conceded soft goals tonight after a great start. A terrific ball by Martin Skrtel and a bit of magic by Luis [Suarez] for our first pen of the season and Steven [Gerrard] sticks it away perfectly. We are one-up in a difficult place to score goals.

“The first goal [we conceded] we were rather unfortunate — Skrtel slips and then Walters finishes really well. But the other two goals, we have to be better than that. The players have to be better in those moments.

“You have to earn the right to play in whatever game — and in particular when you come to here. You know you are going to get pressed. I have no doubt about the characters we have — we have some big characters and big players, but tonight it was just too easy for them.”

Asked about the importance of bolstering his squad during the upcoming transfer window, the manager insisted: “I’m not thinking about that now. I’m thinking about the game tonight and reflecting on that and how we can be better because it was very disappointing.

“Credit to Stoke — what they do, they do very well. They kept working and deserved the three points. January will come and there will be one or two bits of business. But my main thought is about the next game and improving our performance level.”

Luis Suarez collided with Asmir Begovic late in the second half and Rodgers explained how the Uruguayan was forced to put ice on his ankle afterwards to stop the swelling.

“He’s been playing with a swollen ankle for the last few weeks,” said Rodgers. “We’ll wait until the morning to see how he is but he is a warrior and he should be fine for the weekend.

“I think he was unfortunate to pick up a booking [in that challenge]. He’s not even looked at the ‘keeper — he’s trying to swivel on the ball. I thought it was a bit unfair he picked up a booking for that.”

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