BRENDAN RODGERS hailed his players’ spirit and character after Liverpool moved into the Premier League’s top half for the first time this season.
Rodgers’ men were made to do things the hard way against a dogged West Ham side at Upton Park, but eventually came through 3-2, with James Collins’ own goal 11 minutes from time proving decisive.
The win means Liverpool have recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time under Rodgers, and the Ulsterman was delighted with his side’s showing, particularly coming off the back of a testing, disrupted, trip to Italy at the back end of last week.
"It’s a brilliant win for us," he said. "I thought my players were brilliant.
"They’ve been through a lot this week, in terms of travel and whatnot, so to get the win, and a thoroughly deserved one in the end too, I was delighted for them. They put so much into the game.
"I thought for the first 25 minutes we were outstanding. Our play was excellent, and was capped off by a brilliant goal by Glen Johnson, who’s been brilliant for me this season.
"The penalty knocked us back a bit, probably because we felt it was a wee bit unjust, and all of a sudden we stopped playing.
"Half time was about reinforcing the need to keep playing, to keep passing and keep playing, and that the opportunities would come.
"We showed terrific spirit, and that bit of steel today to get the result, and that is a great testament to the players and how hard they are working."
The win lifts the Reds to 10th in the Premier League table, and moves them to within four points of the top four. Having been criticised for a sluggish start to his Anfield reign, Rodgers feels his side are now heading in the right direction.
"We are just trying to build our momentum," he said. "We had a difficult opening fixture list, and we had to couple that with trying to play a certain type of football, which was always going to be difficult.