Brendan Rodgers: Mario Balotelli is adapting to Liverpool’s style
Liverpool manager defends Mario Balotelli ahead of Real Madrid clash
Brendan Rodgers is adamant that Mario Balotelli is adapting to what Liverpool are doing and working hard to improve.
The Italy international continued his Premier League goal drought at St James’ Park as Newcastle United beat the Reds 1-0 on Saturday.
He just needs to focus on continuing to give his very best for the football club
Balotelli has scored a paltry two goals in 13 appearances in all competitions following his £16m move from AC Milan in August.
Liverpool manager Rodgers, speaking ahead of their clash against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, defended the under-pressure 24-year-old.
Rodgers said: “Mario is working very hard and like we ask of all our players he is doing his very best. He is doing that.
“He hasn’t got the goals that he would have liked and we would. But in terms of him adapting to what we’re doing and working hard, he is doing that.
“He just needs to focus on continuing to give his very best for the football club.”
Liverpool are in third place in Group B after a 3-0 loss to Madrid at Anfield in their most recent Champions League outing.
And Rodgers believes the five-time European champions still have a good chance of reaching the knockout stage.
“Our focus is to get a result. We see it as an opportunity rather than any threat. We are still very much in the hunt to qualify from the group.
“We respect the opponent. They are arguably the best team in the world at the moment. But if we can find the intensity and speed that we had last season then we can give any team in the world a game.”