Brendan Rodgers wants more ruthless Liverpool


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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to be more positive in front of goal in order for them to fully reap the benefits of their new style.

Since taking over from Kenny Dalglish in the summer the Northern Irishman has been working on getting his squad adapted to a game-plan based around lots of possession.

In probably their best display so far the Reds dominated yesterday's home match against Manchester United, even after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off before half-time, but ended up losing 2-1 having not taken advantage of their control.

Rodgers wants his players to threaten the goal more, especially as they have scored four times in five Barclays Premier League matches, but is happy with the way everything else is developing despite his side being in the bottom three.

"I said to them at half-time we have to be effective as well," said Rodgers, who is currently working to bring in a goalscorer to fit into his system in January.

"We have to hit the target: there is no point us getting into good areas in the field and twisting and turning and being bright if we don't shoot.

"You have to shoot otherwise you don't score - that is something we know across the board we need to improve on.

"There's no reticence to shoot but it is in the DNA of the player, the type of player.

"That is what we hoped we could bring in over the summer and we weren't able to do that.

"So we've got to go with what we've got until January and you bring in the certain type of player who can help that."

Despite the defeat to United Rodgers believes the United match provided a watershed moment in his short tenure as Reds boss.

"I think we have seen enough in the team to see the improvement and the biggest thing for me to come out now is that control and domination," he added.

"We really dominated and controlled the ball against United, a top, experienced side, so for me that is a big moment from when I first came in.

"When we played Gomel away we could hardly string five passes together so we are making strides forward and very soon the performance level will turn to results and then we can kick on.

"For our future this is another massive step in terms of where we want to go."

Liverpool have had a difficult start to the season, facing both Manchester clubs and Arsenal in the opening five fixtures, but with those behind them Rodgers is keen to look forward.

"It was always going to be a tough run of games for us at the beginning, especially with change and losing so many players," he said of the summer turnaround in playing staff.

"But I think everyone who walked out against Manchester United will have seen hope in that performance.

"I think we are seeing lots of real positives; the players are in unison and the quality of our football at times was outstanding.

"We will turn these performances into wins very soon and then we will be able to push forward.

"Very soon our luck will change and we will do what it takes to win games and then when we do that I believe we will fly."

Rodgers is awaiting news on three players who were injured yesterday.

Of most concern is centre-back Daniel Agger, whom the manager thinks may have damaged the medial ligament in his left knee, while fellow defender Martin Kelly also limped off with a knee problem late on.

Forward Fabio Borini was forced off at half-time with a bruised foot and swollen ankle.