Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool have the right mental attitude

Rodgers rejects the suggestion that the Reds' miss an enforcer

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his players do not lack the heart or the mind to win big games.

And he rejects the suggestion that for all the Reds' possession-style football, they miss an enforcer, someone who can provide some competitive bite when the going gets tough.

After yesterday's 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Rodgers accepted his side had been tentative in a woeful first-half performance.

Despite an improved display after the break, sparked mainly by the insertion of £12million striker Daniel Sturridge, they slipped to a seventh league defeat of the season.

"Aggression isn't about having a 6ft 3ins player in the middle of the field who is going to drive you forward, aggression is in the mind," said Rodgers.

"We have Steven Gerrard, who is one of the best examples of that in this country over the last 10 years.

"We have that aggression but it is not about what size you are, it is about the fight which is in there.

"In the second half the ability to fight was much better and we were much more aggressive in our play and attitude and we should have got something."

After another near-miss, the fact remains Rodgers' side have yet to beat any team currently in the top 10 in the league this season.

Their only victories have only come against Norwich, Reading, Wigan, Southampton, West Ham, Fulham, QPR and Sunderland.

The Reds boss is adamant there is no mental barrier for his players and believes one significant result will provide the breakthrough.

"It is not a problem. We should have beaten Manchester City earlier this season, we should have beaten Everton away and we haven't," he said.

"We have been close in a number of the games against the guys at the top end of the league but that is the next step for us.

"To win those games can set your journey off in a totally different direction.

"It is not something which is mental but it is something we need to do if we are going to progress.

"We have great hope in the future, because of how we are working, that will happen here.

"It will be a long journey for us but it is about closing the gap in the squad, getting those wins against our rivals and then we can gain confidence from that.

"I feel we are a match for any of the teams in this league but what allows you to close the gap in terms of the points is having a squad which allows you to compete.

"For us the squad has been very thin in these opening months."

The signing of Sturridge already looks to have filled an important hole as two goals in his first two matches have given a glimpse of what he can provide.

Forward Fabio Borini is also fit again after three months out with a broken foot and, from having only Luis Suarez as his only fit senior striker for most of the season, Rodgers now has options up front.

"Daniel gave us a different dimension with real pace, playing on the shoulder, and every time he is on the box you sense he can get a goal," he said.

"Good players enjoy playing with each other and I think everyone recognises that, at 23, he has his best years ahead of him.

"You see him like he was against United and he is not even fully fit yet.

"He will be a real handful and, going forward he and some of the other players can be the real difference for us.

"It is important you have balance and for me that is the challenge, I want to have good players at the club and we will keep building our squad so we have that.

"But the players we are bringing in are flexible and can play in a couple of positions.

"Fabio can play off the middle and the side, we have seen Suarez playing central all season but for most of his career he's come off the side and the same with Daniel.

"It is about getting good players onto the field who can fit into the structure.

"We needed goalscorers in the club and with the players we have got we can now do that."

PA

News
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
News
i100
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food