Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will not sacrifice his side’s thrilling attacking style in favour of tightening up the defence as the Merseysiders continue to keep themselves in the hunt for a first Premier League title.
Sunday’s 4-3 win over Swansea City moved Liverpool back to within four points of leaders Chelsea with 11 matches remaining, and also saw them leapfrog third-placed Manchester City as the league’s leading scorers with 70 goals.
Despite seeing England’s Daniel Sturridge match former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s feat of scoring in eight consecutive Premier League matches, Liverpool allowed Swansea to twice pull level before Jordan Henderson’s second goal with 16 minutes remaining secured the three points.
Rodgers said his side needed to tighten up at the back, but did not want to curb their attacking ways that have allowed Luis Suarez and Sturridge emerge as the league’s top two scorers with a combined 41 goals.
“I think it’s not our style,” former Swansea manager Rodgers told reporters.
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“I worry always to play good football. I’m not one who is totally satisfied to always just grind out results. It is about winning, that’s what professional sport is about at this level. But for us I always concentrate on performance because I think that the consequence of performing well consistently is getting results and this season we’ve shown that.
“We’ve shown that when we play well we get the win.”
Liverpool, whose last title came in the 1989-90 season, before the start of the Premier League, have conceded more goals that their three title rivals – Chelsea, Arsenal and City – and struggled to contain Swansea’s Wilfried Bony on Sunday, with the Ivorian scoring twice.
Martin Skrtel, who gave away a penalty that allowed Bony to equalise at 3-3, was given a torrid time before being replaced by Kolo Toure, who himself has made two costly errors in recent weeks that led directly to goals.
Rodgers said that at times his players were failing to defend “anywhere near well enough.”
“The problem is that it’s not coaching,” Rodgers said.
“Some of the things we conceded goals in you can’t coach that. There’s a feel when you’re in the game of how to defend and you have to use that experience to be able to defend properly.
“We concede poor goals, which not so (much) structural as mistakes or decision making, which costs us. We will continue to work on that side of it. The balance in our training is very much equal in relation to our pressing, defensive mentality and also our offensive side.”