Liverpool lacked belief in Crystal Palace loss, says Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers admitted that his Liverpool side are lacking in confidence after watching them lose 3-1 at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Liverpool looked set to halt a run of three straight defeats when Rickie Lambert scored his first goal for them, tucking home a perfect Adam Lallana pass inside the opening two minutes.
With Mario Balotelli sidelined by a groin injury, fellow summer signing Lambert was handed only his second Premier League start -- and did not take long to make his mark.
But that was as good as it got for Rodgers' side as Dwight Gayle -- who scored twice in the memorable 3-3 draw between the two sides in south London last season -- levelled after man of the match Yannick Bolasie saw a drive come back off the post.
The second half started slowly, but two goals in a three-minute period were enough to seal a well-deserved and much-needed win for the Eagles.
Bolasie set up Joe Ledley to put the hosts ahead before skipper Mile Jedinak bent home a 30-yard free kick to seal the win.
The defeat leaves Liverpool 18 points adrift of pace-setters Chelsea and just two ahead of Palace, and Rodgers conceded that heads have dropped following a poor spell.
The result also makes it Liverpool's worst start to a Premier League season since 1992-93.
"It was bitterly disappointing," the manager said. "You've seen a team low on confidence today, not quite together as a team. We need to find a solution very quickly, because it was very disappointing.
"I put the team out there, the best team to win us the game. We made a good start. You could see our passing was a wee bit tentative and then we make mistakes -- mistakes you wouldn't expect to see at a team that's supposed to be challenging.
"Overall, that intensity and togetherness in our game isn't there. When you don't get the results, that affects you. We have to work harder, but we go away bitterly disappointed with the result. At this moment, we're just not good enough."
The draw at Selhurst Park last season was ultimately damaging to Liverpool's title tilt as Palace struck three times in the final 11 minutes to snatch an unlikely result.
Luis Suarez was left in tears on the pitch following that game, and the Reds have struggled for the type of form which turned them into challengers since his departure to Barcelona.
Rodgers invested the money received for Suarez in his squad and now wants to see more from them, insisting he knows that results must improve if he is to avoid increasing questions about his future.
"I'm not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything," he added. "Any manager will tell you that you have to win games and you have to get results, especially after how we've been developing as a football club.
"But I have a great communication line with the owners. We've been honest enough with each other, but ultimately you have to get results. You have to perform.
"I will only ever do my best. The best has seen us develop well. Now I need to fight even harder and take the responsibility -- because as manager full responsibility comes down to me. Any pressure comes on to me.
"We've brought in very good players. Some of them are very young and are not going to be ready for a few years, but they're in now. We have to do better in our performance level."