Victories all that matter says Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (right) and Luis Suarez
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (right) and Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is less concerned about his defence than he is about winning their way to a successful end to the season.

The Reds have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games stretching back to mid-December, have conceded seven goals in their last three matches and their defensive record is the second-worst of the top 11 teams.

But, in contrast, they are the Premier League’s leading scorers with 70 in 27 games and their superior firepower in their last two league matches against Fulham and Swansea is what has kept them afloat in the title race.

That does not mean defence is not an area Rodgers wants to improve but with just over two months of the season remaining results become ever more important.

“We obviously conceded disappointing goals last weekend (in beating Swansea 4-3) but ultimately at this stage of the season it is about winning,” said Rodgers, whose side face Southampton on Saturday evening at St Mary’s.

“We conceded one goal from a free-kick, another was a penalty and another was an incredible finish by Jonjo Shelvey.

“We have put in some outstanding team performances over the last four to six weeks and been so exciting to watch going forward.

“It’s a collective effort. When we attack and score the goals we have it is because of the squad.

“If we’ve scored 70 goals and are the highest goalscorers it is because we are building a platform for the team to go forward and play.

“If we defend (badly) it is because we haven’t pressed the ball high enough at the top of the field and that is a consequence for the rest of the team.

“It is just (having) that composure and focus but it is not just the back four and goalkeeper. Ultimately we won the game.

“This is a team evolving and improving all the time, and I will never move that to the side.”

Liverpool have lost their last two matches against Southampton and their previous three visits to St Mary’s but this is a fixture Rodgers knows they have to win to strengthen their grip on a top-four place.

“St Mary’s has been a traditionally difficult place to go, and especially for Liverpool over a number of years,” he said.

“But we’ve got great belief and confidence at the moment. We’re going in with the ability and focus to get the results.”