Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will end their Anfield agony as long as the club's fans don't turn on the Reds boss and his struggling side.
Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will end their Anfield agony as long as the club's fans don't turn on the Reds boss and his struggling side.
Story first published on: Monday, 08 October 2012 07:53
Rodgers has yet to oversee a Premier League home win in four attempts since taking charge of Liverpool in the close-season and the Reds' barren run in front of their own supporters has now stretched to six matches in all competitions after Sunday's 0-0 draw with Stoke.
The hosts hit the woodwork three times, but Liverpool were unable to break down Stoke's stubborn defence and Rodgers' side remain in 14th place after just one win in their first seven league matches.
Liverpool, whose only home success under Rodgers came in the Europa League against Gomel of Belarus, are already eight points off the top four and more worryingly for their manager, they lie only three points above the relegation zone.
So far Liverpool's fans have remained supportive of Rodgers and his players despite their struggles on home turf and the former Swansea manager believes that backing is essential to end their struggles.
"This is a club that has won only two Premier League games at Anfield in this calendar year," he said.
"It has been nearly a year since the club has won consecutive Premier League games so to still get the backing of the supporters with that type of record, there's not many clubs would give that.
"The players gave the club everything today, and there should be a big appreciation of the supporters.
"There were a lot of real positives and it was our first clean sheet of the season which is important."
Rodgers admitted to being frustrated by the result, but was full of praise for his players for standing up to a physical Stoke side.
Liverpool included three youngsters in their starting line-up and Rodgers expects the experience of taking on a bruising outfit like Stoke will speed the development of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso.
"They are a bunch of big men who make it difficult for you and there is no right or wrong way to play football. What I was proud of is our young guys stood up to that," Rodgers said.
"I am obviously disappointed we didn't win the game but I thought the attitude and application of the players was terrific.
"There were a lot of real positives from the game and our first clean sheet which is important."
While Rodgers was pleased with his side's determination, he was also forced to defend Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from allegations of diving.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis was furious that Suarez appeared to dive when he was challenged by Stoke defender Marc Wilson in an unsuccessful attempt to win a second-half penalty.
Suarez has been accused of diving on several previous occasions, while Pulis has called on the Football Association to ban players guilty of simulation in the past, so the incident inevitably drew a stinging response from the Stoke coach, who called for the Reds star to be hit with a three-match ban.
"You have got Suarez falling over in the box second half, which was really, really disappointing," Pulis said.
"I think that should be highlighted, it's an embarrassment. The FA should be looking at this. Give him three games (of suspension) and he will stop falling over."
Rodgers insisted Suarez was suffering for an unfair reputation given to him by rival managers and the media.
"I haven't seen the incident so I can't really comment on it but whatever Luis does, there will always be a problem, whether it's media, referees or whatever," Rodgers said.
"It gets brought up every week, it's something that is not new. I thought he was terrific today."