Liverpool have not done nearly well enough this year, not by their own standards and certainly not by fans' standards. Brendan Rodgers has come under fire of late, with the more corybantic amongst the fan base calling for the manager's head as a not entirely proportionate response to the problems that plague the club. It's the most difficult patch the Northern Irishman has gone through in his three years at Liverpool, and it's a challenge he's not going to deny.
"Is this my biggest test? Yes, absolutely, there’s no getting away from that," Rodgers conceded. "I don’t like to whine or complain or make excuses. We’ve had the whole integration of a lot of new players and obviously it’s not gone as well as we would have wanted, there’s no doubt about that. But we have to embrace the challenge. We are in an adverse moment but that can make you stronger when you come out the other side. So for us now we have to regroup.
"If there is any spotlight, any blame, then it comes onto me. I pick the team, I put the players in so if there’s no results rightly so it comes onto the manager. That’s something I will accept. When you’re at a club the size of Liverpool the spotlight you come under is huge. But you can’t complain, it’s a wonderful life. The adverse moments always provide you with the opportunity to go and fight even harder, and that’s something that we all aim to do here."
Liverpool have had a lot of adverse moments so far this season without managing to capitalize on that so-called opportunity to any satisfying degree. It's something Rodgers is cognisant of, especially in the context of how few adverse moments there were last season yet the team managed to spur themselves on into a pretty fabulous run of form.
"Of course, no-one is happy at all and I feel for the supporters," Rodgers continued. "Where we were at last year and the journey we were on, and you look where we are now as a team after the first 11 games of the season, then it probably looks like night and day difference. But we will work with the players we have got. I need to find the solutions and find them quickly for us to improve.
"As we stand at the minute we’re in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, it’s in our hands in the Champions League and we’re not too far off in the league. The onus is on us and we have to really focus on moving on from a difficult period. I believe as the season goes on that we will get better. However which way it comes, we need results, it is my responsibility as manager to get results. "
How Rodgers plans to get those results remains to be seen, but his first opportunity versus Crystal Palace is just around the corner and fan expectation will be at an all time high this season for Liverpool. Liverpool have never lost three league matches in a row under Brendan Rodgers, and the gaffer will want to make doubly sure to get a result on Sunday in order to maintain this stat.