Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Agger’s Liverpool rage

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger admits standards have slipped at the club, but has stressed they cannot afford to fall any further.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth was the Reds' seventh of the season and combined with other results, saw them slip to eighth in the Premier League.

They are now closer to Pompey, still rooted to the bottom despite a fourth win of the campaign, than they are to leaders Chelsea and the pressure is increasing on manager Rafael Benitez.

However, Agger said the players have to take responsibility for their below-par performances, which they had to put an end to heading into the busy festive period.

“It goes without saying that we are extremely disappointed and we know that it simply isn't good enough for this club,” said the Denmark defender.

“We have got to change this around. It didn't happen against Portsmouth, but we can't let it go on any further.”

Confidence appears to be at an all-time low among the squad and in recent matches the concession of a goal has immediately provoked a negative reaction from many of the players.

That is partly down to a run of just four wins in 17 matches.

“Why is this happening? It's a bit of everything I suppose, but we have got to try to get some confidence from somewhere soon,” said 25-year-old Agger.

“You get that by winning games. Every game we need to focus and get the three points.”

Benitez will have to change his line up over the next four matches as Javier Mascherano will serve another suspension after being sent off at Portsmouth.

It means Benitez has to decide whether to drop Steven Gerrard back from his attacking role.

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