Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool boss Rodgers is keen to accentuate the positives

By Tim Rich

Brendan Rodgers has come under increasing pressure given his side's stuttering start, but the Liverpool manager backed Rickie Lambert's assessment of a strong performance.

"We showed wonderful character tonight," he said.

"Obviously (if you) go a goal behind in this competition you need great spirit and character of team.

Asked if he had gone back to basics, Rodgers said: "They're certainly players that I know what they're capable of. Lucas coming into the team, the last time he played was against Real Madrid and he was outstanding. Obviously they are players I know what they're capable of but in time the new players will adapt to how you want to play."

Lambert admitted Ludogorets' equaliser had left Liverpool "devastated" but claimed their performance in the 2-2 draw ought to be enough to silence their critics.

On finding the net himself, the 32-year-old said: "It meant a lot. It was my first start in the Champions League and it was brilliant to get off the mark and get us back in the game.

"I thought the performance was a lot better, that was the main thing. We're devastated about the goal at the end but it is still a good result.

"We knew if we got a draw today a win (against Basel) would get us through and it's about getting through. But it was about the performance today, win, lose or draw, and the performance was a lot better today, I thought anyway.

"We've answered some critics about Sunday night. We wanted to address it and we wanted the win. We almost got it but it's about the performance."

Fellow scorer Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, said: "They are a good team. We found that out in the first game - that they are very good technically. But I thought we showed great character to stay in the game, especially after going 1-0 down very early.

"Bravery is about getting on the ball. It's not just fighting and showing desire to win the game. It's getting on the ball, having the confidence to get on it even when you're 1-0 down.

"I felt as though we did that, especially early on."

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