• FA Cup

Rodgers points finger at youngsters

ESPN staff
January 27, 2013

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his disappointment at the attitude of some of his young players following the club's surprise FA Cup exit to Oldham Athletic.

Premier League side Liverpool were dumped out of the competition by their struggling League One opponents at Boundary Park on Sunday - as the hosts opened up a 3-1 lead at one point early in the second half before ultimately holding on for a 3-2 victory.

Rodgers opted for a team selection that blended youth with some experience - the likes of Sebastian Coates, Andre Wisdom, Jack Robinson and Fabio Borini all started - but was left angry at the work-rate shown by some of his players.

"We are bitterly disappointed. We started the first half poorly and we started the second half and got punished," Rodgers said. "We've got a big week of games but our mentality in that opening period was poor and it ended up costing us.

"I was disappointed with the young players today I've got to be honest.

"We are trying to give them experience and let them see what it was like to play for Liverpool. It is not just about playing for Liverpool, you have to be competitive and be part of a group that is going to challenge for trophies.

"I thought how we reacted to that and how we performed, knowing that is what we are looking for, was disappointing.

"It is not enough to play for Liverpool and get up for the Arsenal and Manchester City games [later this week] because if we are going to win trophies you need to be able to come to places like Oldham and win and we weren't good enough for that."

Oldham manager Paul Dickov suggested in the aftermath that Liverpool were not used to being pressed so strongly for 90 minutes, something that Rodgers seemed to agree with.

"We were just too much on the back foot early on, you really have to be aggressive," the Northern Irishman said. "These are different games to the Premier League: Premier League games are nice, you go in and teams will pass the ball and give you time to get your shape.

"These games are a different type of football, you have to roll your sleeves up be strong and aggressive and unfortunately for us there were too many who weren't.

"It is just a different type of football where you have to stand up and be counted. It is great to put young players in but you have to have personality and the young players disappointed."

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