Video: Brendan Rodgers and Rickie Lambert defend Liverpool criticisms in Sofia

Brendan Rodgers and Rickie Lambert issued rallying calls amid criticism of Liverpool’s recent form in their pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Ludogorets in Sofia.

The crunch game is make or break for the Reds — with victory required to keep their hopes of qualifying from the Champions League group stage alive following three successive defeats in the tournament.

Rodgers and his players have come under immense pressure this week after Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace left them 12th in the Premier League table — their sixth domestic defeat of the season.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone (at FSG) as of yet. I’ve had a few messages but they have always been supportive of me,” Rodgers told the media.

“My focus is on getting Liverpool to win games and I know that is what will make them most happy.

“I always believe losing can be the making of you as a player and a manager in terms of how you learn from it and move on from it.

“When you don’t have so much coaching time on the field it is mostly psychological what you want to achieve.”

Lambert, who scored his first goal for the club in Sunday defeat at Selhurst Park, said the responsibility for Liverpool’s poor form must come down on the players.

“Most of the players know what the gaffer said. It is full credit that Brendan said that but it was totally down to the players,” the former Southampton forward said.

“They are desperate to get the game under way and try to rectify our performance at the weekend.

“First and foremost we are focusing on our performance. Win or lose we have to put in a performance of the standard of a Liverpool team.”

Ludogorets v Liverpool gets underway at 7:45pm (UK) on Wednesday night.