Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rodgers: Lack of Team Spirit Is Costing Us Dear

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rodgers: Lack of Team Spirit Is Costing Us Dear

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 LIVERPOOL 0 BRENDAN Rodgers watched Liverpool crumble to a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United - and then admitted his men have lost the team ethos which nearly won them the title last year.

Just nine months ago Rodgers strutted out of Old Trafford following a 3-0 win, but yesterday his team lost to their biggest rivals by the same margin thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie.

The Northern Irishman almost guided Liverpool to the Premier League title last year, but they are now 10th - 18 points shy of leaders Chelsea.

Rodgers (pictured right) spent PS117million on nine players in the summer but they have not gelled.

The Reds were knocked out of the Champions League after just one victory in the group stages and it will take an almighty improvement if they are to play in Europe's top club competition next season.

Rodgers conceded after the final whistle his squad lack the cohesion and spirit which took them a whisker away from their first title in 24 years last term.

He said: "The whole scenario was about looking to build a team again.

"We want to recapture the team ethos.

"We had a team which was growing for two years and has changed with injuries."

When the transfer window opens in a fortnight, chief among Rodgers' targets has to be a striker.

Without Luis Suarez, who departed for Barcelona in the summer, and the injured Daniel Sturridge they look blunt up front.

Liverpool have scored just 19 goals in 16 matches. At this point last year they had found the net 39 times.

Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli have scored just one Premier League goal between them this season so Rodgers started Raheem Sterling up front at Old Trafford.

That move backfired as he missed three good opportunities, although that was partly down to David de Gea who was voted man of the match for yet another outstanding display in the United goal. …

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