Rodgers demands Liverpool focus against set-piece frailties

The former Swansea boss wants his side to improve their defensive ability during set plays, having targetted it as a weak spot ahead of their Premier League clash with West Brom

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has demanded that his side end their habit of conceding from set-pieces when they host West Brom on Saturday.

The 40-year-old has guided his side to their best start in a league campaign since 2008-09, with the Reds claiming consecutive clean sheets in their opening three games against Stoke, Aston Villa and Manchester United.

However, Liverpool have since conceded goals from set-pieces in four of their last five matches and the former Swansea boss is determined to put an end to it as they look to continue their strong start to the season.

“The more you concede at set-pieces the more you will [gain a reputation], ” he admitted at a press conference ahead of the game at Anfield.

“It’s just concentration. The ball that came into the box against Newcastle was quite a straightforward one and we just didn’t defend it well enough. We went to sleep a little bit.

“I was annoyed at the Crystal Palace one because even though the game was over (it was 3-0 at the time) it was still a goal from a set-piece that you shouldn’t concede.

“We started the season with three clean sheets and we just need to get back to that mentality because we know that we can get goals. It is something we need to improve on.”

Liverpool have undergone changes in their defence with only Kolo Toure remaining in a natural defensive position from the side that opened the campaign at home to Stoke.

However, despite several key injuries and a formation switch that has seen them operate with three central defenders, Rodgers does not believe the changes have had an effect on his side’s ability to defend set-pieces.

He continued: “No, because from a set-piece you are given a job and I think it should be the simplest part of the game in terms of the ball is not moving.

“Again it is individuals. We have coped with set-pieces in the first few games – you just have to ensure every single game your concentration is right or you will concede a goal.”

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