LONDON – Brendan Rodgers offered an apology to Liverpool supporters following their 6-1 defeat at Stoke City on the final day of the 2014-15 season.
The Reds found themselves five goals down at half-time following strikes from Mame Diouf (2), Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi.
Steven Gerrard pulled one back for the visitors after the break, but Peter Crouch headed in a late sixth for Stoke.
Afterwards, Rodgers told reporters: “To start with, it’s an apology. I think everybody, all the supporters connected with Liverpool, will – like us all – be embarrassed by that and they deserve an apology.
“In the first half, we were too easily beaten. They scored a couple of wonder goals, but we have to be much better than that, like we showed in the second half. After the first half, the game was dead.
“We should have been much better in certain defensive moments in the game. We were too easily beaten and not competitive enough in certain areas. On the field, you’ve got to show aggression and desire to stop people running past you and beating you in a one-v-one duel. That’s the bottom line of it. It was bitterly disappointing.”
Rodgers acknowledged fans’ frustration and disappointment at the defeat, and said: “They have every right to be [angry]. These supporters have been brilliant for us, particularly away from home with the support we’ve had. We can have no complaints – any of us. The supporters were angry at half-time and rightly so because that was awful, first half. Absolutely awful.
“This season has been a tough season, and in particular towards the end. In this period now, we’ve come up short. We haven’t won enough games in this last couple of months of the season, so they’ve every right to be angry and frustrated. I take full responsibility for that as the manager.
“Our job is to now go away and reflect on this season. There’s an awful lot of work to do and the job is to now go and fix that, and make sure we come back with a motivation greater than ever to push on next season. We’ve finished the season in sixth, which is where we deserve to finish. We have to now start, today, on the climb to get back up again.”
With 2014-15 now over, Rodgers admitted he plans to address the areas that require improvement throughout the summer but also pledged that such work begins for him right now.
“There are a number of key elements of the performance today that didn’t surprise me, if I’m being honest,” he continued.
“There are areas that we’ll address in the summer that will hopefully help us be much more competitive more consistently and be up there from the beginning of the season. We as a club will work very, very hard to make that happen.” – Liverpool FC