Liverpool face Crystal Palace on Sunday at Selhust Park and last time this happened, they capitulated and conceded a 3-0 lead (at 70 minutes) for the then Tony Pulis side to dramatically draw the game and score 3 goals in the matter of minutes. However, Liverpool had already lost the previous game at Anfield 2-0, in a game that became infamous for Steven Gerrard’s slip. Co-incidentally, Liverpool faced Chelsea before this.
Naturally, this was a big focus in Brendan Rodgers’s pre match conference before the game. The Northern Irishman maintained that Liverpool’s title hopes were destroyed before the game.
“That wasn’t the game that cost us. The damage was always done in the Chelsea game. That was the one that changed it for us. But on reflection I was extremely proud,” he said
“Maybe the excitement to claw back the goal difference on Manchester City overtook us”.
At present, Liverpool are struggling in the league. They went into the international break in the eleventh spot and things have just not clicked for the side. The strikers are not scoring, and the defenders are not defending. There is pressure on Rodgers and he would hope that the Palace game is the one where Liverpool’s season can really kick off.
“Adverse moments always provide you with the opportunity to go and fight even harder, and that’s something we all aim to do here, from the staff to the players – the club is very much together,” Rodgers said at his pre-match press conference.
“It hasn’t been a great start for us, but we know we’re only a short distance away from getting a few results that will push us back up.
“We’re also in the quarter-finals of a cup competition and it’s still in our hands in the Champions League, but we’ve just got to focus on moving on from a difficult period. We need to win games and, of course, that always changes the outlook.”
“We came into the season knowing it was going to be a big challenge and it has proved to be that,” the Liverpool boss admitted.
“But the players have been absolutely remarkable in how they’ve approached training and the situation. We’re hoping that we can find that extra one per cent which allows us to get a victory, do the basics right and that will allow our confidence to grow. The wins will then just start to flow from there. We’re hoping that will be the case come the weekend.”
Daniel Sturridge, who was expected to make a comeback against Palace after an almost three month gap, has to wait another one and a half months before he can play as he sustained another injury. Rodgers said that Sturridge was disappointed, of course, but the rest of the team would have to and will step up in his absence.
“He has just been extremely unfortunate – last time he played was August,” said the Northern Irishman
“He is a player that doesn’t want to be out for this length of time; with his ability and all the qualities that he has, he wants to be playing football.
“Now is the time for him to go away and us as a football club to go away, to see what more we can do to get him onto the pitch consistently because he is a world-class talent.
“He’ll only fulfil that if he’s playing games, but there’s nobody who wants that more than Daniel. He wants to be working and wants to be playing.
“We need to look to hopefully find the answers that are going to allow him, over a consistent period of time, to perform here at Liverpool.
“I have great trust in them (other strikers). I would be more concerned if they were moping around or didn’t care.They (Lambert and Borini) are working tirelessly despite not getting much playing time. Rickie is a player with great qualities who can give us something different.”