Rodgers admits: I should have changed the system earlier

Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool’s defeat to Crystal Palace in November convinced him to change tactics to overcome the Reds’ indifferent start of the season.

BOLTON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 4, 2015: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match at the Reebok Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool made a stuttering to start to the 2014-15 campaign – losing three of their first five Barclays Premier League matches and seven of their 19 league fixtures before the turn of the year – but have recovered to remain in the hunt for a place in next year’s Champions League competition.

The Reds have been in fine form since Christmas, having not lost in the league in 2015, and are just two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United and only three adrift of third-placed Arsenal.

Such an achievement seemed unlikely after they lost 3-1 at Selhurst Park on November 23 – their third league defeat in a row – to sit 12th in the standings, a result that Rodgers admits forced him into a re-think.

“After that Palace game I felt that it doesn’t matter how much support you have, the team is not functioning and it could not go on really,” the former Watford, Reading and Swansea manager told the Guardian.

“But I certainly wasn’t going to roll over and die. I will always fight for my life. I love it here and I want to be successful here.

“I understood the situation. My experience at Reading told me that. That’s what I learned from my sacking there. I went in to Reading with the full backing of the chairman, who was great to me, and I got 20 games.”

He added: “What I learned was it does not matter how much support you have in the boardroom, from the directors, the executives, you have to get results and you have to win.

“I needed to make decisions that would allow us to get back to somewhere near what we had been and the transformation of the team, with everyone talking about the system and how dynamic it is, has been good to see. I should have done it earlier!”