Brendan Rodgers: Man United game was turning point for Liverpool
Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool are mentally strong ahead of Merseyside derby
Brendan Rodgers has claimed that Liverpool’s side’s defeat at Manchester United in December was the turning point in his side’s season.
Liverpool suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss to their bitter rivals at Old Trafford but have since gone seven matches unbeaten in the Premier League.
The Reds have improved significantly in recent weeks, too, and are now seventh in the table and just four points adrift of the top four.
Mentally we are strong and we are playing very well
“The turning point was the Man United game,” Rodgers told talkSPORT.
“After the Crystal Palace game [when Liverpool lost 3-1], we had to arrest the momentum because it was going away from us, we weren’t playing, there was no pressure in the team, no intensity, nothing of what we had showed for the last couple of years.
“We picked up seven points out of nine [against Stoke, Leicester and Sunderland] and in that little period of three games we were defining a way to get back to how we wanted to play.
“We threw that in against Manchester United and we lost that game but I saw enough in that to see we were creating chances again.
“From that we have then kicked on and our performance level has been getting better and better.”
After a difficult start to the season, which saw Liverpool pick up just 14 points in their first 12 matches, the Reds finally rediscovered some of their good form from last season before the New Year.
Rodgers’ side have won five of their last seven matches in the league since their visit to Old Trafford, including three straight wins and three clean sheets most recently.
The return of Daniel Sturridge from a five-month injury lay-off will boost their chances of competing for a Champions League spot as well.
Liverpool visit Goodison Park on Saturday for the Merseyside derby, and Rodgers feels his side are going into this match at a good time.
“We are going in at a real high level. Mentally we are strong and we are playing very well,” added Rodgers.
“These are wonderful games, just being involved in them around the city is incredible.
“It is a great atmosphere at Goodison Park and we will go there and try and keep this momentum going.
“We knew it was going to be a long road to get into contention [for the top four] after the way we started the season but from December through to now we wanted to arrive at the end of January in a good moment so we weren’t too far off, knowing we will get in the second part of the season, and it has sort of panned out like that.
“There is still a lot of work to do but we have still got our best football to come.”