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Rodgers: Lack of Quality and Defensive Changes to Blame for Hull Loss

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Even a man as persistently optimistic as Brendan Rodgers couldn't find many bright sides to Sunday's result, and the manager was clear about the lack of quality on display by his team against Hull.

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Matthew Lewis

The mathematicians usually come out in full force come April, when everyone is furiously calculating what combination of realistic results in the remaining matches can achieve the highest possible position in the table come the end of the season. With Liverpool facing a difficult December, the mathematicians have arrived early in hopes of determining the optimum series of results to put the club in good standing leading into the second half of the season. Hull was generally thought to be another three points to add to the mid-season tally, but the result was quite the opposite.

"It was very disappointing," said Brendan Rodgers after the match. "I thought this was an opportunity for us to begin the week well. Hull came in on the back of losing at home and we arrived into the game with confidence and belief. But we made too many mistakes, with and without the ball, and overall it was very disappointing.

"I just thought we lacked quality. With the ball we just didn't create enough and we didn't keep the ball long enough in order to move them about. But we didn't play well enough. The players are committed enough and they have been giving everything - but today, our quality [was lacking] and there were just too many individual mistakes."

Rodgers chalked those mistakes up to the rotating door of defenders who have passed through Liverpool's back line so far this season. Lack of a consistent back four (or three or five) due to a series of injuries hasn't allowed Rodgers to settle on a regular selection week in and week out, producing the instability that leads to major defensive blunders.

"In our last two games we've conceded six goals," Rodgers painfully reminded everyone. "So we need to be much, much better than that and that's something we need to return to on Wednesday night.

"We just need to reflect on this. We haven't had too many days of late like this here. Now we have a massive game on Wednesday and we must focus and look to get our points in that game."

Norwich's visit to Anfield mid-week is currently down as another three points on the mathematicians' lists. Liverpool have had strong results against the Canaries since their promotion, and Rodgers is counting on that history to repeat itself in order to ensure his own math checks out.

"When we went into the Fulham game, we had targets in terms of points, starting with Fulham," Rodgers said. "And if we get two victories in our next two home games, that will put us on course for the bigger picture, which is two points a game."

Liverpool have responded with strong wins after each of their previous losses this season, and with Luis Suarez's history of terrorizing Norwich, Rodgers will be hoping for another healthy response by his club. What he and his players can't do, though, is go into the Norwich match thinking all three points already in the bag; hopefully the result against Hull will have crystallized that point.