Liverpool's 2nd half vs Stoke showed why they have to stick with Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers

Glen Johnson's late headed goal came on the back of much improved second half performance.

Liverpool's 1-0 win over Stoke may not have been a perfect performance from last season's Premier League runners up, but what it did show was that Brendan Rodgers is the right man to lead the Reds into an improved second half of the season.

For much of the first half Liverpool looked like they had for much of this season, lacking in attack and completely devoid of the tenacious pressing game that so exemplified their outstanding performances last year.

The Reds conceded more than one good chance to the Potters, who had livewire Bojan causing all kinds of problems, and up until the halftime whistle were struggling to exert their authority on the game.

But as the Liverpool players emerged for the second half, Rodgers had clearly lit something beneath them in the Anfield dressing room.

Back again was the zip and urgency in midfield that saw Stoke players given little time on the ball and often heading backwards to Asmir Begovic.

That the Reds were rewarded with Glen Johnson's late winner was really a result of however Rodgers encouraged his players at half time, and should be perfect proof to doubting Liverpool supporters, as well as those in his squad, that a return to the high tempo football played last season is possible if the players merely engage with what their manager is saying.

Rodgers made a big call in benching Steven Gerrard, yet his arrival in the second half helped provide the perfect boost to go on and clinch the three points.

Make no mistake, even if Liverpool were to bring in Pep Guardiola, they would still struggle to replace Sturridge and Suarez, they may continue to puzzle over how to employ Steven Gerrard, and the defence and goalkeeping departments would remain something that can be worked on.

So no different to how things are now. Rodgers has proved he can inspire a team to over perform, and considering they are just 5 points off the Champions League places, and with a favourable run of fixtures coming up, it would be foolish not to give him the chance to do so again.

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