Liverpool latest: Summer transfer target reveals move was never close

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Liverpool slumped to their second defeat in seven days on Saturday as West Ham United coasted to a 3-1 win over the Reds at Upton Park just a week after losing 1-0 to Aston Villa. After just five Premier League games, Liverpool have already lost three, and some are already questioning whether the Reds can bounce back from the sale of Luis Suarez - but manager Brendan Rodgers is confident that his side will learn from their recent mistakes.

"We've made mistakes in games and we need to cut those out," he told a press conference on Monday. "We just have to go back to working and moving the ball but on top of that we need to be more aggressive with our defending. As a team we need to be better. We started poorly at the weekend and you see [in] the results [that] there is no easy game at this level. You will be tested physically and mentally at this level and you have to be ready to fight that."

"It is a long campaign and we have a lot of games. We haven't made a great start by any means but we'll improve. We need to concentrate on the game [against Middlesbrough] because we need to get through. We want to win a trophy this season, I've said that before and this competition is an opportunity to do that."

The midweek game against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup is a potential banana skin as the Championship side look to produce a cup giantkilling. A number of first team players will be rest having played three games in seven days after their Champions League game against Ludogorets, and Rodgers announced today that Rickie Lambert will start the game on Tuesday.

"Rickie's been training very, very well," said Rodgers. "He came in during pre-season and he's been getting himself fit. He played in a lot of the games [during pre-season]. He got himself to a good level of fitness and this will be a game that he will start in."

"He's come off the bench and made an impact for us. He's a wonderful player, a great technician and he makes it really, really difficult for defenders. I know he's really looking forward to tomorrow night and hopefully he can get a goal on his first start," added the former Swansea manager."

Lambert joined the club this summer as Rodgers brought in new striking talent, and whilst Mario Balotelli also joined the ranks on Merseyside, Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette was also linked with a move to Anfield. The 23-year-old French international hit 22 goals for the Ligue 1 outfit last season, but said a move away to anywhere - including Liverpool - was never on the cards.

"I was under contract, so there was never anything there," Lacazette said. "There was lots of speculation with regards to a possible transfer, but I wanted to progress in the club where I was made. I had no reasons to leave."

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