Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers defends team's commitment

Brendan Rodgers denies Liverpool team rift

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended the "commitment and focus" of his players after Saturday's 4-1 defeat by Arsenal.

The loss, Liverpool's second in a row, left them seven points adrift of the Champions League qualification places.

It led to reportsexternal-link of an acrimonious team meeting after the match.

But Rodgers said: "The team might be short of certain elements but in terms of commitment and focus, it's pretty clear."

He added: "We have lots of meetings here analysing performance and this one was no different."

The Liverpool manager also said he had not given up hope of finishing in the top four, despite saying on Saturday he "very much doubted" they would qualify for the Champions League.

"After the game I gave an answer which was logical in terms of the difficulty we have but it is not certainly a mindset," he said.

"Our attitude is to go right to the end. We would have to win our seven games but it is certainly something we will go into in order to do that."

And Rodgers says Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn provides the perfect opportunity for Liverpool to get back to winning ways.

"It's important to have a game quickly when you lose," he said. "The group's very committed to winning this trophy.

"We know Blackburn will be a difficult game for us, but getting to a final and winning a trophy is what we want."

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