Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hit back at reports of a ‘crisis meeting’ at the club’s training ground on Sunday after the dismal defeat at Arsenal 24 hours earlier.
A story in Monday’s Daily Mirror said the Anfield boss had accused several players of “not playing for him” in a meeting at Melwood following their capitulation in north London and that some of the senior players had “reacted angrily” to the accusation.
On Monday morning, Rodgers faced the world’s media ahead of Wednesday night’s FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn and when asked about the truth of a player showdown said: “I’ve heard that this morning. It is something you can’t help.
“We have lots of meetings here in terms of analysing performance and it was no different to a whole host of meetings we have all year. Those meetings helped us recover from the bad start we had to win 10 games out of 13.
“It was nothing really; it was just analysing performance, analysing where we are at and then feeding forward to the players. With seven games to go and an FA Cup quarter-final the objectives we can clearly achieve between now and the end of the season. It is just unfortunate something else was made up.
“I have a great bunch of players here who tirelessly every single day give me everything and you can see that in how we play. We might be short in terms of several elements but in terms of the commitment and work ethic that is pretty clear and has been since I’ve been here.”
Liverpool’s hopes of securing Champions League football next season were blown apart at the weekend after conceding three goals in the final eight minutes of the first half in a 4-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
The loss left Liverpool seven points behind the top four teams with seven games left in the Premier League season and the gap could widen on Monday night, depending how fourth-placed Manchester City gets on in the MNF clash at Crystal Palace.
Rodgers added: “After the game I gave an answer which was logical, mathematics really, in terms of the difficulty we have but it is not certainly a mindset.
“Our attitude is to go right to the end. It is going to be difficult for us if the teams above us don’t drop points. We would have to win our seven games but it is certainly something we will go into in order to do that.”
It has been a testing few days for Rodgers who had to respond to the fall-out of his forward Raheem Sterling conducting an unauthorised interview defending his delay in signing a contract extension at Anfield.