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Rodgers warns underperforming stars

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has threatened to wield the axe on his underperforming players, insisting there are plenty of eager reserves capable of stepping into the first team.

• Walsh: No repeat of QPR drama

• Reds in talks with Butland

Liverpool languish in 10th-place after Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Stoke which tarnished the Reds' 4-0 rout of Fulham last weekend.

It is that inconsistency which has stunted Liverpool's season and Rodgers believes his side are struggling under the weight of expectation.

"To play for a club like this there are certain requirements you need," he said. "They are not just technical and tactical requirements. You cannot have a good match and then three days later have a poor game.

"This is Liverpool. This is every game of your life. You have to do that for years because that's why you are at a big club."

Rodgers made a number of audacious predictions for Liverpool's season, including the goal of a top-four finish. But the Northern Irishman has now accepted that the club must be patient in its objectives for the future and he believes no player is irreplaceable.

"We want to make progress, but unfortunately because of the position we're in, it's going to be slower progress than people would like," Rodgers said. "It's not easily solved. It's not like other sports where you can just tell someone 'that's it' and show them the door and they're gone. This is a club that pays big money - it takes time.

"The table doesn't lie. We are in 10th position. We've shown against many of the top teams we have the game to compete. But it has to be consistent. We have boys that want to come in and work hard every day."

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