Rodgers confident of Champions League progression

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    Brendan Rodgers is confident his Liverpool side can progress to the last 16 of the Champions League and get the required victory over FC Basel at Anfield.

    The Reds need three points from their final group game, following a battling 2-2 draw in Ludogorets – a match in Rodgers believed his side showed great character following recent criticism.

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    “It was always going to be a close group and we will settle for this position,” said Rodgers. “I am happy to rely on us to play at Anfield in front of our own supporters and I really look forward to that.

    “We haven’t been good enough or consistent enough and that’s my responsibility. But in the Champions League it’s still in our hands.”

    Rodgers was also pleased with the way his side responded from going a goal down so early on following a mistake by Simon Mignolet – an error he admitted hopes hasn’t damaged the Belgian’s confidence.

    “To go a goal behind in this competition so early on, you really need a team that is together and I think the character of the team came out,” Rodgers said.

    “Overall, the performance was one I was very, very pleased with.

    “We are obviously disappointed about the goal at the end, but it is irrelevant. We need to beat Basel now in our last game [at Anfield], and when we went into the competition we probably looked at that game as the one that would see us through.

    “We said before the game that this needs to be the night that changes our season, and for that we needed to show the character in the team.”

    The manager, who brought in Lucas Leiva and played Steven Gerrard in a more advanced role, added: “There are players [in the team] who I know what they are capable of. Lucas came into the team and was outstanding while in time the new players will adapt to how we work, we have set a standard here in the last two and a half years and so far this season, we have not lived up to it.”

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