Liverpool vs Burnley: Brendan Rodgers believes he would've got the sack if he hadn't made 'radical' changes to his team

Liverpool have lost just 2 matches in 25 since November

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he feared losing his job at Liverpool after the team's terrible start to the season.

After finishing second last year, Liverpool, despite the exit of Luis Suarez, were expected to mount a real title challenge this season. But the Reds were terrible in the opening months of the season, with Daniel Sturridge injured and Mario Balotelli struggling to fit in, they accrued just 14 points from their first 12 matches.

Sitting in 12th in the Premier League after a poor 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on 23 November, Rodgers believes he would have been sacked if the poor form had carried on much longer.

Rodgers is now being considered as a replacement at Manchester City if Manuel Pellegrini fails to convince the club's owners he is moving the team in the right direction.

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Manchester City are considering Rodgers as a replacement for Manuel Pellegrini

But since that defeat Liverpool have been the form team in England dropping just four Premier League points from the last 30 available to sit sixth in the division, just three points below Arsenal in third.

Rodgers has entirely changed the team's formation and style, going from a 4-2-3-1 that was too open, to a more defensive 3-4-2-1 that has seen Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho flourish.

“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,” he said. “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. Even though it was a three-year project and they wanted me there and I was the guy who knew the club more than anyone, I got the sack after 20 games. Funnily enough it had just started to pick up but they lost their patience.

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Rodgers at Selhurst Park in November

“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!”

He added: “We had no identity and everyone could see it. We just weren’t the team I had built over a couple of years. It was not working and of course that can eat away at you.

“I knew I had to do something radical because I had seen enough of the players to know we were not going to shape up and work as we had done for the previous couple of years with what we had got.”

In the 12 games since introducing the new system, Liverpool have won eight, drawn three and lost just one of their matches, at Old Trafford.

“I knew I needed to do something earlier than when I did do it,” he admits. “We played the system away at Newvastle but I couldn’t really work on the system in training because we didn’t have the players available at the time. At Newcastle Raheem Sterling played as one of the wide players. So what did I get out of that game apart from a loss? I learned that Raheem probably won’t be able to play wide in what I was looking to do because he’s not in the game enough. He was on the side.

“I was looking at it then and used it in the cup games so I knew what I wanted to do earlier, but after Newcastle we had Real Madrid and I wasn’t going to go into a game of that magnitude with a system that I knew needed more work on.

“It was just about the timing and the timing was right for the Manchester United game. By that stage I was comfortable that we had the players to make it work.”

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