BRENDAN RODGERS has challenged his Liverpool players to show their true quality and make immediate amends for defeat against Aston Villa.
The Anfield side were humbled 3-1 on Saturday by a side who kicked off the game lying just one place outside the Premier League’s bottom four.
Defeat ended Liverpool’s three-game winning run and dealt a blow to the team’s hope of putting pressure on the top four.
Rodgers spoke before the game about his side needing to set their aspirations for the season even higher than booking a place in the Champions League qualifying places, but he admits the weekend’s loss brought them back down to earth with a bump.
But now the manager wants to see a positive reaction from his players and for them to get the season back on track with a win against Fulham at home on Saturday.
"The good teams respond, and if we want to be able to call ourselves a good team going forward then we have to respond," said Rodgers, whose side host Fulham on Saturday.
"The best teams always bounce back, and that’s the challenge for us now.
"We’ve got a week’s training and then we come back here on Saturday, and hopefully we can get three points and get on that upwards curve again.
"Look at the development of the group and of the team, and of individual players, and it’s something I’m pleased with."
Liverpool are very much a work in progress and Rodgers hopes that defeat to Villa can act as a vital lesson.
"We know within our group that we’ve still got a long way to go," he said.
"The players understand the process, that we’ll take a couple of steps forwards, and that there are going to be times when we take a backwards step.
"The most important thing is that you learn from it, and the learning from this game is that you can’t ever be complacent in this league. We need to be at full tilt every week, and if we do that we’ve got a great chance of getting the points. If not, you can get punished."