Brendan Rodgers admits after shock Crystal Palace defeat: 'I am not that arrogant to think I can't be sacked'
Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 1
Brendan Rodgers admitted that he could not expect Liverpool’s owner John W Henry to stick with him indefinitely, after the Liverpool manager saw his team fall to their sixth league defeat – their worst start to a season since 1992-1993.
Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Liverpool 3-1 at Selhurst Park after Rickie Lambert had scored within the first two minutes. The English striker started with Mario Balotelli remaining in Liverpool to receive treatment on a groin injury, having attended the boxing at the Echo Arena in the city on Saturday night.
Asked whether he was under pressure, Rodgers said: “I'm not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything. 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. In my first year when we weren’t maybe getting the results we were performing well.
“Owners and directors and chairmen and chief executives have to see development on the field. Barring this period, our development has been very good and fast. But there's no doubt as a manager you have to get results. That will support the confidence to the owners, and you take it from there. 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”
Palace equalised in the first half through Dwight Gayle and went on to win the game with goals from Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak. The win moved them up to 15 ahead of Hull City who played Tottenham. It was Neil Warnock’s side first win in six games.
Rodgers admitted that his team, who face Ludogorets in Bulgaria on Wednesday in the Champions League, were low on confidence. "It was bitterly disappointing. Nowhere near the levels we'd expect, after a very good start. 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.”
“It's my responsibility as the manager, ultimately. 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 [for the title].”
The Liverpool manager disputed the award of a free-kick against Martin Skrtel for pulling the shirt of Gayle – a free-kick from which Jedinak scored his side’s third goal. Rodgers said: “Overall, that intensity and togetherness in our game isn't there. When you don't get the results, that affects you. That leads to [reduced] confidence. We have to work harder, but we go away bitterly disappointed with the result.
“We have to put it right very quickly because we have a massive game in midweek, and a busy schedule ahead. We have to do better.”
“We've been a very close group for a couple of years, but we had to make the changes and bring players in. The group was very thin. We're in another transition phase, but whatever phase it is we have to do better than that. 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. That's down to me to coach and manage that. That's what I'll continue to fight to do.”
Warnock praised Yannick Bolasie and Jedinak who had both come back from long trips during international week. “I think we'd have done that to most teams. That's just this league in general. If you take anyone lightly, you can get turned over.
“I think they were determined, you could see that the way they started. But we could have had six or seven more points after playing some good stuff so far, and we took our chances and got our rewards. We played some really good stuff and looked well organised and difficult to break down.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital