Date: 24th November 2014 at 9:04am
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Kop boss Brendan Rodgers has shouldered the blame after watching his side suffer a chastening 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace…

Liverpool’s shocking season lurched to a new low on Sunday when they again surrendered an early lead, this time in defeat to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.

The Reds went in front after just 90 seconds through Rickie Lambert‘s first goal for the club but they failed to capitalise and ultimately ended up contributing to their own downfall once more.

The hosts equalised in the 17th minute through Dwight Gayle and secured all three points with two goals in the final 12 minutes from Joe Ledley and the outstanding Mile Jedinak.

In truth, it was a deserved victory for Neil Warnock’s men who had shown the greater desire and carried much more of a threat throughout the contest.

Discussing his side’s fourth successive defeat in all competitions at the post-match press conference, a forlorn Brendan Rodgers remarked: “It was bitterly disappointing – it was nowhere near the level that we would expect.

“We started the game as you would want, but I think you saw a team low on confidence today.

“We’re not quite together as a team, which is what we pride our work on. We need to find a solution very quickly because it was very disappointing. It’s my responsibility as the manager, ultimately.

“I picked the team and put the team out there, and I pick the best team I think can win us the game. We made a good start, but as you can see our passing was a bit tentative and then we made mistakes.

“We made mistakes that you would not expect to see at this level for a team that wants to be challenging. We go 1-0 up and then we fail to manage the game.

“Overall, there’s that intensity and togetherness that’s not quite there in our game. When you don’t get the results, that is affected.”

Palace were aided in their equaliser by the absence of Joe Allen, who was off the field getting treatment, and were gifted a second by a poor Simon Mignolet clearance and terrible defending from Dejan Lovren.

There wasn’t much that could be done to prevent Jedinak’s excellent free-kick from finding the top corner but in reality the visitors already looked a beaten team by that stage.

Attempting to understanding their present struggles, Rodgers remarked: “We’ve got a lot of young players who don’t have experience and some who don’t have experience of the league.

“But I think this is a group that is doing their best. We need to find a way because we’ve seen over the last couple of years as we have seen this group develop that they are very talented players.

“But it’s been a new phase this season and we’ve had a lot of games, a lot less preparation time in terms of coaching, and injuries that were key for us – but we can’t complain.

“We just have to get on with it and find ways of getting results, because that’s what Liverpool is about. We’ve showed the real size and power of this club with the last two years and we hope to build on that.

“We need to get back to the basics of fighting and being aggressive and then the talent should come out.”

Liverpool’s run of poor form couldn’t have come at a worse time as they look to prolong their involvement in this season’s Champions League before heading into a hectic December.

Failure to win in Bulgaria against Ludogorets Razgrad on Wednesday night is highly likely to see their involvement in this season’s competition come to an abrupt end.

Their chances of securing a return to Europe’s elite next term, via a top four league finish, also appear to be rapidly fading.

“Every game now for us, right the way through a really busy schedule, is an important game,” added Rodgers. “We have to be better.

“We picked a team today that we thought could win the game, and the players who played today and the ones on the sidelines are very committed.

“They give me everything every day, but at this moment in time, we’re not good enough and we need to find answers very quickly. We’ve been a very close group for a couple of years, but we had to make changes in the summer. We had to bring players in – the group was very thin.

“We’ve brought in players and we have current players here who are very good players. But we have to be better in our performance level. That’s down to me to coach and to manage that. That’s what I’ll continue to fight to do.”

Liverpool slip to 12th as a result of this latest defeat; five points behind the top four and a massive 18 behind leaders Chelsea.

Their current points tally of 14 after 12 games, which leaves the Reds just four points above the relegation zone, is the club’s lowest at this stage of a season since 1992-93 when Graeme Souness was in charge.


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