Rodgers demands better Liverpool defence vs. Hull

By Timothy Abraham ,AFP

LIVERPOOL — Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants to see an all-round improvement in his side’s defending when they face Hull City in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday. The Reds have only managed to keep one clean sheet so far this season �X a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur at the end of August. Rodgers signed center-back Dejan Lovren from Southampton, left-back Alberto Moreno from Sevilla and brought in right-back Javier Manquillo on loan from Atletico Madrid during pre-season. But with 19 goals conceded in 12 matches in all competitions so far this term, Rodgers said a collective effort from all his players was required to help Liverpool tighten up at the back. ��It needs to be better, that’s for sure �X as a team, not just the defense and goalkeeper,�� Rodgers said.

��As a team we need to be better. We all pride ourselves on clean sheets but we need to more competitive and aggressive in those moments as a team.�� Wednesday saw Liverpool beaten 3-0 at home by Real Madrid in the Champions League, with the holders’ three goals all coming before half-time.

��That was the disappointment against Real Madrid and also in the goals we’ve conceded, as a large number of them have been soft,�� Rodgers said. ��It’s our job to improve our record and it’s something we’ll continue to work on,�� the Northern Irishman added. ��We need to reinforce key principles in that organization and then it’s you as a player on the field showing that competitive spirit. ��The great competitors don’t get done so easily in those situations and that’s something we need to improve upon.�� Liverpool remain without England striker Daniel Sturridge, who is continuing his rehabilitation from a calf problem. French center-back Mamadou Sakho will miss out a thigh injury while Spanish midfielder Suso (groin) and defender Jon Flanagan (knee) are long-term absentees. Rodgers must decide whether to start with Italy striker Mario Balotelli, who was substituted at half-time on Wednesday, having controversially swapped shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe.