Southampton 3 Liverpool 1 match report: Inconsistent Reds to get reality check after standards slip

Reds lose at St Mary's

If anyone at or around Anfield was getting too excited about four successive victories and the outside chance of a top-four finish, Saturday's defeat at Southampton was a blast of cold reality. Brendan Rodgers, the manager, saw it as a useful reminder that rebuilding a team is not an overnight job, and while he will not be going back to the drawing board, he recognises that plenty of work remains to be done.

Unfortunately, that will have to wait while all but seven of his squad disappear on the international break, but he hopes they can use some of the time to assess the step back taken at St Mary's after what had appeared to be several steps forward.

"Maybe you've just got to go away and reflect on the last few weeks," he said. "Because it's important for us to maintain the efforts that we have been putting in that have got us results. We let those standards slip a wee bit so we just need to get back now and refocus on that and I'm sure we'll see a different side against Villa."

He will be especially concerned that they do not repeat the slow start on Saturday that allowed Southampton to take a 2-0 lead that they were unable to recover. It takes time, he suggested, to build that resilience into a refashioned side. "We're a team that is not quite on that level yet," he said. "We need to be right on it every game to get results and unfortunately today we suffered."

However, Rodgers argued that the result should be seen in the wider context of general improvement. "We had it last week against Tottenham when we went 2-1 behind [and won 3-2]. Especially in the second half of the season there's been a real upturn in terms of performance level. The players have been outstanding. This was just one of those days. Every team has them. We just didn't perform anywhere near what we have been. And, having said that, we could have scored three or four goals. So we just have to go away now, lick our wounds, and sit on it for a couple of weeks and get back to winning ways."

The influence of the injured Jamie Carragher was badly missed at the back, while Luis Suarez, mesmerising recently, was starved of service. But as Rodgers said, they still made chances and Mauricio Pochettino's high-pressing Southampton side, although dynamic going forward, still found the straightforward ball over the top difficult to defend.

It is also a concern for the Argentinian that Saints raised their game to beat Manchester City and Liverpool but lost to QPR and Newcastle. It is one he will address. "It just goes to show that football is based on your mental attitude in every single game you play," he said.

"We have to make sure that in every single game we play, not just these two games, that we have the same hunger and mentality to always go out for the win."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment