Anfield legend Ian Rush highlights concerning statistic for Liverpool

Anfield

Liverpool legend Ian Rush believes Brendan Rodgers needs to get his side pressing from the off again in Premier League competition.

Liverpool’s title challenge in 2013/14 was built around their ability to force opponents onto the back foot from the opening whistle.

The Reds burst out of the blocks on numerous occasions last season, with early goals becoming their calling card.

It has been an entirely different story this term, with Brendan Rodgers unable to generate the same level of intensity from his side.

The departure of Luis Suarez can be blamed for many of Liverpool’s struggles, but the absence of one man should not alter the whole mindset of a club.

Anfield legend Ian Rush believes Rodgers has become too conservative, with the Reds wary of pushing in the opening exchanges for fear of leaving themselves exposed at the back.

He said in the Daily Star: "Last season, Liverpool frequently blew teams away in the first 15 minutes of matches. They burst from the traps and overwhelmed opponents with their relentless pressure and all-go tactics.

"This season they have played with more caution. Compare the stats: this time Liverpool have scored just three times in the first 15 minutes of match and have conceded four goals.

"Last season they got 60 per cent of their goals in the first half, 12 of them coming in the first 15 minutes, 32 of them by the half-hour mark.

"Liverpool have been more conservative and need to go back to last season's tactics as soon as possible."

The time may have come for a few more risks to be taken, with Liverpool in danger of being cast adrift in the race for a top-four finish.

Heading into Sunday’s crunch clash with Arsenal, the Reds find themselves 10 points off the pace and sat in the bottom-half of the Premier League standings.

Rodgers has come under pressure, which may result in him becoming even more cautious, but the shackles need to be shaken off at some stage if a campaign which promised much is to avoid becoming a complete write-off.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch