BRENDAN RODGERS blasted his team’s poor defending and lack of character after Liverpool FC suffered a Boxing Day hangover.
The Anfield outfit fell further behind in the race for Champions League qualification with a dismal 3-1 defeat at Stoke City last night.
Two goals from Jonathan Walters and a Kenwyne Jones header rendered Steven Gerrard’s second-minute penalty irrelevant.
And Rodgers pointed the finger at his players after admitting it was “too easy” for Stoke to fight their way back into the match.
Asked if his side lacked character, the Liverpool manager said: “I think it was one (of those occasions).
“It's not all about football, you've got to earn the right to play here because you know you will be pressed when you come here.
“That's something we're looking to find in the group going forward otherwise we're not going to progress.
“I've got no doubt about the characters we've got, but at Stoke was just too easy."
Liverpool have slipped to 10th place, eight points adrift of the top four and three points behind last night’s opponents.
Rodgers needs at least a draw in Sunday’s visit to rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers to avoid registering just 25 points from 20 games – the same total that saw Roy Hodgson sacked almost three years ago.