Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers aims to show Norwich City no mercy
- Credit: PA
Brendan Rodgers will send his Liverpool side out on Wednesday night with the instruction to test out Norwich's soft underbelly.
City have conceded 16 goals away from home in the Premier League already this season and the Reds' boss knows the value of a positive start at Anfield.
'At this level, the first goal is vitally important, and in particular for us, at Anfield,' he said. 'When I came in I could sense that anxiety around if we didn't get an early goal. Now, we go into it free-flowing and we always feel that we have a really good mind-set playing at home. It's where we love to play and the earlier the goal, the better for us, because it gives us that confidence to go on and take the initiative in the game. We had set ourselves some targets over the course of five games and these are the final two in that little block of targets. We always want to win our home games. At Anfield this calendar year we've had 15 games where we've won 10, drawn three and lost two. So our record has been very good. We go into the game with confidence.'
Rodgers accepts his side owe the Liverpool supporters a performance after slipping to a 3-1 weekend loss at Hull.
'For us, they've been magnificent and they've given us great backing and great support and we disappointed them (at Hull) so we've got two games now to make that right, starting against Norwich,' he said. 'It's that type of league; if you lose a game, you can drop a few places. If you win a couple of games on the spin, it will keep you up there. Our idea was to get through to the midway point being in and around the top positions, which we have been until now. We've had some outstanding performances - Sunday was disappointing, of course. The league has shown this year, as much as any other time at this level, that it's very unpredictable. You can't dwell on it. You've got to refocus and reset and go again and that's what we will look to do.'
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Rodgers is aiming to protect a personal record against Norwich which has seen him never lose two consecutive games since arriving on Merseyside.
'That's really down to the positivity of the players and how they can bounce back and recover after a defeat,' he said. 'I always have to look at the bigger picture and, for me, the bigger picture is still very bright. We just need to get over the disappointment – which we will do. I'll always demand the best, that's why we're at a club like this. We're not here to be second or great losers, we're here to win.
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'We've shown that we have the capacity to do that consistently now. The only way you can respond is to put your head down, take whatever comes and work tirelessly going forward to get the result.'