at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Dublin – Brendan Rodgers is desperate for a new striker in January, but has warned followers of Liverpool that any significant purchases may not happen when the transfer window reopens in little over a month.
The Merseysiders shaded a keenly-fought contest at Swansea City, but their inability to convert their chances into goals cost them maximum points at the Liberty Stadium.
With forward Luis Suarez shackled by Swansea centre-back pairing Chico Flores and Ashley Williams, the visitors did not manage to score. Yet Rodgers has sounded a note of caution to supporters by insisting patience in the transfer market will be required as he continues his rebuilding job at Anfield.
When asked if there would be significant spending in January, particularly on the wafer-thin attacking options, he said: “I'm not so sure it will be in January, to be honest. This year the club wanted to balance the books and see where it was at.
“There was a big investment in the club and a lot of players went out in the summer and a few came in.
“We will look to do some business in January to support the players here. The owners trust me to grow the club over time. As a manager you're always looking at the short term, but eventually we will get there.”
Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish lost his job following the club's last visit to south Wales in May – a 1-0 defeat to Rodgers' then well-oiled Swansea outfit. But there was a marked improvement in the visitors' play and performance on Rodgers' first return which he labelled as “emotional” since his summer departure.
Yet, as in large parts of the season to date, the same old problem exists for Rodgers' side with the vital final touch missing. He added: “You can see with each game that goes by that our work is improving. But we know our play in the final third has to improve. It's the work we have to do in the forthcoming months.
“Luis was bright and a threat in and around the box and we had 18 shots on goal with nine on target. We need to finish our chances to round off our good play. You can see that once we get the quality in the final third to support what we have then we have enough to keep moving forward.
“It's a team that is coming together. I can see improvement all the time. I was really pleased with the quality in our play.”
This contest was high on technical ability from both teams, but lacked many clear-cut opportunities. After Raheem Sterling struck the crossbar, Liverpool felt aggrieved that Jose Enrique's 34th minute effort was ruled out for a marginal offside. Rodgers said: “We were unfortunate with the offside goal that was ruled out. I've seen the replay and I thought it was a goal.”
The point maintains Swansea's recent good form of just one defeat in eight matches and manager Michael Laudrup was happy after his side nullified the threat of Suarez Laudrup said: “I thought we deserved that point. Liverpool played well and maybe had a couple of good chances more than us in the first half but I am pleased with the performance of my side.
“Obviously when you play Liverpool there are going to be times when they have a lot of the ball but at no point did I feel that we were under constant pressure.
“With Steven Gerrard and especially Luis Suarez they have two players who can create something from nothing but I thought we handled them very well.
“Suarez did some good things but we expected that because he is a very good player.
“There was a lot of talk about Luis and Ashley Williams before but I thought we saw the best of both.”– The Independent