There were clear positives to be seen from Liverpool's performance against Norwich on Sunday. Whether that counts for much when it's six games into the season and the first five saw performances that mostly ranged from middling to terrible, and whether that counts for much after a massively disappointing 2014-15 campaign, is open for debate.
Still, there were positives. And one of the clearest was again the performance of Danny Ings. The striker came on in the second half to spell Christian Benteke, who was feeling tightness in his thigh. As was the case in a string of recent cameos, Ings was impressive. Energetic and hard working, he instantly improved Liverpool's pressing game and was rewarded for it with his first goal at the club.
"We came off the pitch extremely disappointed we didn't get all three points," the striker told the club's website. "But there were a lot of positives, especially in the second half. The game started a little bit flat, but we turned it around, created a lot of chances, and there are positives to take from the game. A bit of concentration was lost at the corner [Norwich scored off of], but we'll sit down and get that right."
Signs of improvement in year four of Brendan Rodgers' tenure, following a disappointing season and another disappointing start, isn't enough to win back many who have all but given up on the Liverpool manager coming good at the club. With FSG backing the manager over the summer, though, that probably doesn't matter, and the expectation is that he will be given a chance to build on Sunday's result.
The next four games, though, will be key. If a promising performance against Norwich is as good as it gets before the October international break, things could get ugly at Anfield and leave FSG with little choice but to make a change. However, Ings is certain that things are going to get better for Liverpool as they prepare to face Carlisle, Aston Villa, FC Sion, and Everton in the coming weeks.
"If we play the way we did in the second half and create those chances, I'm sure we can win those games," he said. "We've got to go into games with positive attitudes—let this game go, move on to the next one, and carry on strong. It's easy to dwell on things, but there is nothing you can do to change it. We look to the next one and put things in place that are going to put it right."