London: While Brendan Rodgers failed to put one over his former side Swansea City on Sunday, the Liverpool manager did leave Wales with optimism, if not the full three points, after a 0-0 draw.
The Reds’ Raheem Sterling was denied by the crossbar and Jose Enrique had a goal ruled out for offside, and Rodgers said the visitors’ performance, compared with their defeat at the Liberty Stadium back in May, was a clear illustration of the progress made.
“I thought there was a marked difference,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s website. “I was really pleased with the quality of our game ... I thought our build-up play was good and we got through the thirds well.
“I just thought we needed a fraction more belief in the final third. There were opportunities around the box where we could have got a shot off a bit quicker.”
“I thought the method in our game was good, and people who would have seen the game at the end of last season would have seen a difference.”
Liverpool remain mired in mid-table with 16 points — 14 behind leaders Manchester United with 13 games gone.
“Our performance level is continually improving. We’re just chipping away at climbing up the league, and we’ll do that,” Rodgers said.
“It’s a team that’s coming together with a different way of working. I can see improvement all the time. The guys are working really well, I’ve got to say they’ve been absolutely fantastic.
“But we all know you need to get in your own types of player before you can actually say it’s your side.”
The Northern Irishman knows that may take some time, however.
“I’m not so sure it will be in January, to be honest. This year the club wanted to balance the books and see where it was at. There was a big investment in the club and obviously a lot of players went out in the summer, and a few came in.
“We’ll look to do some business in January to help and support the players that are here.
“That’s where we’re at as a football club. The owners trust me to grow it over time. Obviously as a manager you’re always looking short-term because you’ve got to take care of the short-term, but eventually we’ll get there.”