Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool manager says team have regained identity

Rodgers happy with 'complete' display

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his side have "regained their identity" following the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Reds, who spent £117m on players in the summer, were 10th and seven points off the top four after a 3-0 defeat by Manchester United in December.

But they have since won four and drawn two of six league matches and are now seventh, five points from fourth place.

"We're building towards the future and progressing really well," said Rodgers.

"The team is performing at a good level and playing some wonderful football. If we can get through to the end of January, getting to the top four is still an objective."

Fabio Borini put the Reds in front against Villa before Rickie Lambert's late goal secured the victory.

Liverpool finished Premier League runners-up last season but struggled to match those exploits at the start of this campaign as they claimed just six wins from their opening 19 games.

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic
Lazar Markovic was signed by Liverpool for £20m from Benfica during the summer

But improvement from the Anfield side has coincided with their summer signings slowly having more of an impact, with a change of formation to playing a three-man defence also proving key.

In particular, summer arrivals Lazar Markovic, Alberto Moreno and Emre Can are playing more first-team football and all started the win over Villa.

"In the opening four months of the season we were nowhere near what we had been, so we needed to find a solution," Rodgers said.

"I had seen enough of the dynamic to see the side had enough going forward. We will always look to improve and the challenge is to improve."

He added they could have scored one or two more goals at Villa Park.

"We have regained our identity in how the team has played for two years," Rodgers said.

"The system is working very well for us. In my time here we've played a lot of different systems but this one is exciting."