Liverpool are broken, says manager Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers says Liverpool need to refocus on what allowed them to win games consistently in the past 18 months

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted his team are a "little bit broken" after three defeats in their first five Premier League matches.

Rodgers, whose side are 11th in the table, said the introduction of new players had disrupted his philosophy.

"We're reintroducing the principles that brought us the win ratio we've had over the last 18 months," he said.

"Our game was based on high intensity but, apart from that Tottenham game, we've moved away from that."

Liverpool beat Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart Lane on 31 August, but have since lost two successive league games, to Aston Villa and West Ham.

They were also unconvincing in recent victories over Champions League opponents Ludogorets Razgrad and Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Faltering Liverpool
Liverpool lost three of their opening five league games two seasons ago. It previously happened in 1959, when they were a Second Division club.
The Anfield side had the majority of possession (62%) at Upton Park but West Ham had more shots, 13 in total and seven on target.
Mario Balotelli has not scored a Premier League goal since November 2012.

"We put in a lot of hard work in the first six months to a year we were here, and a lot of those processes became natural," added the Northern Irishman, who joined the club in 2012. "The consequence of that was winning.

"But we introduced a raft of new players - you lose the core of players who were important, and that's obviously a factor and then it becomes a bit broken.

"That's how our game has looked for a big part of the season, but I have a group of players here who identify with that.

"We need to get back and refocus on what has allowed us win games consistently over the last 18 months to two years."

Liverpool finished second last season, two points adrift of eventual champions Manchester City, but over the summer sold top scorer Luis Suarez and brought in nine players.

Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge played most of England's friendly against Norway

Rodgers also said injuries, notably to striker Daniel Sturridge, had not helped the team's cause.

The 41-year-old said he would continue to assess Sturridge's fitness before deciding whether to include the England striker in the squad for Saturday's Merseyside derby at Anfield.

"He's someone who responds well to treatment," said Rodgers of the 25-year-old, who strained his thigh while on international duty.

"He's out on the field but there's still a couple of days to go before the game. He certainly won't be match fit but it'll be great to have him back because he's a wonderful player for us.

"We'll be very happy to have him back and we're hoping that can be this weekend, but we'll assess over the next couple of days."

On speculation linking England teenager Raheem Sterling with Real Madrid, external-linkRodgers said he was unconcerned.

"It shows that he's obviously playing exceptionally well," he said of the 19-year-old.

"I think you could link Raheem with every club in the world at the moment, He's a fantastic young talent. I sit easy with it."