Five years to the day he was sacked by Reading Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that experience has partly helped him deal with the situation he now finds himself in.
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Defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday has left the Reds seven points adrift of the top four and, following on from their Champions League exit in the same week, has increased scrutiny on the Northern Irishman.
It is undoubtedly his most difficult spell since taking over at Anfield in summer 2012 but Rodgers is adamant he will get through it, unlike his unsuccessful spell at the Madejski Stadium.
“It is totally different. I never forget the day – it was Wednesday December 16 – and it was a difficult period of course,” he said. “It was probably the making of me as a manager. It is not until you experience that that you can analyse and reflect on things you can be better at.
“That was the way it worked out. I was able to do a decent job at Swansea and up to this year I would hope people would think I had done a decent job here.
“As a manager you will always have tough periods but I have great confidence in how staff and players work. We just need a little bit of luck and a break and I think we will get that. When we get some consistent results we can push on.”
Rodgers has regularly pointed out that expectations outside of the club this season are unrealistic considering they lost a genuine world-class talent in Luis Suarez when the striker was sold to Barcelona in the summer.
But he accepts he is paid to deal with the criticism which comes his way. “When you are manager at Liverpool, one of the great clubs of the world, there is always going to be pressure,” he added.
“Expectancy on us this year is based on how we worked last season. We recognise the challenges of this season.
“We know what we had last season and this year that dynamic has totally changed. We know the challenges and the pressures that are on you could be unrivalled but we are relaxed and focused and even more driven to restore confidence to the team. We are looking to fight to improve that.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince has called for Rodgers to sell striker Mario Balotelli as he is a disruptive influence in the dressing room. Interestingly the Reds manager was reluctant to issue a denial of such a claim despite twice being given the opportunity to do so.
“There are lots of opinions about Liverpool and Paul is someone who I respect and was a wonderful player and has managed himself so he knows the pressures of management,” said Rodgers.
“Mario is here as a Liverpool player and as the coach and manager I need to work to maximise what I can get out of the player, but that is the same with every single player.
“While he is here at the club that is all I will concentrate on.
“Our dressing room is very strong. We are very fortunate we have a captain who is a strong leader and that has been something which has been very important in my time here.
“I hear one or two bits and pieces about unrest – it is totally untrue of course. We are not happy we are not winning games.
“These are competitive players who nearly won the league last year so they won’t be happy with losing but the actual spirit in the group is very strong and that is one of the reasons why when we get that confidence back then we will go into the second half of the season and be much better.”