Brendan Rodgers 'not concerned at all' by Liverpool's poor start to the Premier League

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is not worried his side are in the bottom three after failing to win in the Barclays Premier League so far this term.

The Northern Irishman heads to Norwich tomorrow looking for his first three points in domestic competition at the sixth attempt since taking over from Kenny Dalglish in June.

Any other year and there would be talk of crisis at Anfield, but Rodgers has done his best to calm fears by adopting an air of positivity.

Fans know the club is going through another transitional period and have been encouraged by performances, if not results, as Rodgers' possession style gradually beds in.

The manager himself is not concerned by the situation he finds himself in so early in the job.

"Every game is important, but we've got 99 points to play for. There's a hell of a long way to go," he said.

"Our first five games, performance-wise, have been good. We haven't got the points that we really wanted in the games, or even deserved in the games.

"Certainly on Saturday we'll really be looking to hopefully get the points that we deserve and take it from there.

"I look no further on than that, really. I'm not concerned at all. We'll assess it after the opening 10 or 11 games.

"Certainly in performance levels, the players have been brilliant and they've got their rewards in the cup competitions.

"In the league, they haven't quite got the points for what the performances are but very soon that will change.

"I'm seeing the elements of the game that we've been working on - our domination of the ball and creativity has been excellent - but we need to convert and importantly we need to get points."

Striker Luis Suarez will play a key part in changing that and returns to the ground where he scored a brilliant hat-trick last season.

"I know Liverpool had a great result there last year, I remember the three goals of Luis," said Rodgers.

"Three unbelievable finishes, to be fair. If we can replicate that scoreline, we'll be okay."

The Liverpool boss has also called for referees to give the Uruguay forward a fairer chance when it comes to contentious decisions in the penalty area.

Suarez has earned a reputation for going down too easily, but Rodgers insists that is not the case.

However, the Reds boss said if Suarez goes to ground he gets accused of diving, but if he stays on his feet he is not getting the benefit and he has spoken to referees' chief Mike Riley about some of the decisions his side have been on the receiving end of.

"The likes of Suarez has had a couple of good penalty appeals. He hasn't dived, they have been legitimate, and he's actually got booked," said Rodgers, referring specifically to the last two matches.

"He went down at Sunderland and it looked a clear penalty and he ended up getting booked for it.

"Last weekend in the Manchester United game there was more contact in his case than there was in Antonio Valencia's and Valencia gets a penalty and we get nothing other than a hard luck story.

"I'm not sure [Suarez's reputation is influencing officials], you'd need to ask the referees, but he is a wonderful talent and irrespective of whether he goes down, if it's a penalty, it's a penalty.

"What I have seen he certainly doesn't ever look like he is going to get a decision and that is something which would bother me going forward."

PA

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