Post Match: Rodgers praises magnificent players in second half

Speaking after watching his side crash out of the Champions League, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers faced the TV media:

Rodgers post-match interview FC Basel at Anfield

'I thought Stevie's goal maybe gave us a little bit of time to maybe go on and get the result.

'The players gave everything in the second half.  The first half we were very disappointed with our possession and our positioning in the game was disappointing.

'But in the second half the players were magnificent.  Obviously they went down to ten men which was never a sending off, and they had to show even greater courage and commitment and they did that.

'By the end they (Basel) were hanging on.

'We got a result in the game but obviously not overall for the group so we're obviously disappointed to go out.'

Asked about the red card handed to Lazar Markovic, Brendan replied:

'If you go down to 10 men with 30 minutes to go it can be (difficult).  Tactically we switched the structure of the team to still give us something up front.

'It was never a sending off.  If he gets sent off for that then you will have many more in the competition.  The player who goes down should be looked at.  The fingernail barely touched his nose.'

The Liverpool manager was asked about the impact of being knocked out.

'This club hasn't been in the competition for a long time.  This season has really whetted our appetite.  We will learn from being in it.  We will get better.  It's a really exciting month in terms of games.  But we showed our character to come up.

'The Europa League is still a prestigious tournament.  There are some great teams in that.  It provides more experience for the younger players.

Brendan was then asked if playing in the Europa League could affect Liverpool's league performances:

'It's something we have to accept.  It's the outcome of coming out the group stage.  If we want to do well in it (Europa League), which we do, and we want to do well in the Premier League, which we do, then we have to accept it and push on.

'The top four we have to push that as a real target for us - we're not too far off the pace for that.  There's some big games coming up.  There's still a very long season to go.

'We're still very much focussed on trying to get our performance level up to speed.  We're nowhere near the level consistently.  That's a key focus for the season.  That will hopefully make for better results - consistently.'

Next up for Liverpool FC is Man Utd at Old Trafford.

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Post Match: Rodgers praises magnificent players in second half

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