West Brom 1 Liverpool 1: ‘Devastated’ Kolo Toure earns full forgiveness from Brendan Rodgers
Manager claims he will not criticise his players for trying to play football
Sunday 02 February 2014
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, responded to the mistake by Kolo Touré that cost his side vital points in the race for fourth place in the Premier League by offering immediate forgiveness to the Ivory Coast defender.
Touré’s misplaced pass across his own penalty area allowed West Bromwich Albion substitute Victor Anichebe to steal an equaliser for the home side after Daniel Sturridge’s first-half goal – his 18th of the season – appeared to have put Liverpool on course for a comfortable three points.
“Kolo is devastated, bless him,” Rodgers said. “He is experienced, knows it was a mistake and he is a really conscientious player, so he is devastated. It was a good finish from Anichebe and unfortunately has cost us two points.
“But it is the price you pay when you try to play and I’m quite happy to carry on doing it. It is the first time we have been punished for it this season.
“Kolo should not have received the ball in the first place. But it is part of our learning, we are where we are because we have the courage to play football and build the game from behind.”
Rodgers rejected the notion that Liverpool had suffered a major setback in their ambitions to finish in the top four, despite missing the chance to open up a four-point lead over fifth-placed Everton.
“We can’t score four or five every week,” he said. “Our attacking play this season has been scintillating, but it was a really difficult pitch to get our fluidity on.
“We were in total control of the game and then we made a mistake, and that gave the home side a bit of momentum. But that is when you have to stand up and be counted. I am proud of the players for that. Make no mistake, when you make an error, some teams can go under and you can end up losing that game 2-1 in the Premier League.
“I’m not too disappointed, not too concerned. It is another point away from our rivals. We came here and lost here last year, and only got a point at home. We have four against West Brom this year, and for us to be disappointed shows the growth of the team.”
Rodgers was equally adamant that Liverpool had done all they could to secure the signing of Ukraine forward Yevhen Konoplyanka before Friday’s transfer deadline, rejecting claims from the winger’s club, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, that the failure to have funds in place had led the £16million deal to collapse at the 11th hour.
“The club did everything possible to get the player in. In every aspect: money, we had the chief scout, MD, doctor, everyone out there,” he said. “I heard the problem might have been the money – that was not the problem. It just wasn’t to be.”
However, he refused to go into detail about what caused the deal to break down. “I am very conscious that whatever frustrations I have, I would never let you know. That’s not the way I do things. If I have an issue I don’t need to ring up journalists and give them snippets. I will speak to the owners and I will do it diplomatically.”
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate