at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
West Bromwich, United Kingdom – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants his side to continue to play football from the back despite defender Kolo Toure's costly mistake in their 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion.
Toure's misplaced pass allowed West Brom substitute Victor Anichebe to equalise at The Hawthorns on Sunday after Liverpool had earlier taken the lead through Daniel Sturridge.
But Rodgers claimed he will still urge his players to place an emphasis on possession and retention of the ball even though it meant they dropped two valuable points in their bid to qualify for the Champions League.
“Kolo is devastated, but I said to him sometimes that's the price you pay when you try to play football,” Rodgers said.
“In the last 18 months we've shown the courage and bravery to play football. Part of that is to build the game from behind.
“Unfortunately, for the first time this season we've been punished for that. He's an experienced guy, so he knows it was a mistake. And he's devastated because he's a conscientious guy.
“We'll carry on playing like that. It's just decision-making and a mistake, but that's how we work and how we play. There's no blame for any of the players.
“Unfortunately for us it's cost us two points, but we'll see it as a point gained at the end of the season hopefully.”
Rodgers also responded to criticism directed at the club for their failure to strengthen in the January transfer window, after a deal for Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka collapsed on deadline day.
“The football club did absolutely everything possible to get the player in, in every aspect,” Rodgers said.
“From our part, categorically the football club and managing director Ian Ayre did a brilliant job out there negotiating.
“Now I need to work with the players here. We've done brilliantly up to this point and we've got 14 games to and we're still in a great position with games to play.”
Rodgers suggested that he will go back in for the 24-year-old winger when the transfer window reopens in July, although he acknowledged that it will be harder to get his man with more clubs interested.
“I feel sorry for the player, who was desperate to come to one of the best clubs in the world. But it's gone now and we'll review it in the summer,” Rodgers added.
“Obviously it's going to be a greater market then. We'll assess it.”
The result helped West Brom in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League as they moved a point clear of the relegation zone.
Albion head coach Pepe Mel believes that he can see his coaching methods having an impact a fortnight after he took over and he remains confident that the club will remain in the English top flight.
“In two weeks we have done good work. I think the next week will be better, it is normal. At training we have a good work,” Mel said.
“It was very important not to lose against Liverpool. The players want and believe in the way of winning. To lose is no good for us.
“I am surprised how tight it is at the bottom. But that is the Premier League, and all teams are big teams.
“It is important to work day in, day out, because I am sure next season West Brom will be in the Premier League.” – Sapa-AFP