Brendan Rodgers was pleased with the performance of his Liverpool side to end a run of six games in all competitions without a win following a 1-0 win over Stoke City.
The much maligned Glen Johnson headed home the winner on 85 minutes, and Rodgers was happy with the way in which is side responded to the disappointment of recent results.
Reflecting on the contest in his post-match press conference, he said: “I’m satisfied. People look at how my teams like to play and I think they think I’m happy with 5-3 and 6-4 – I’m equally, if not more than happy, with 1-0. You can’t play perfect football.
“We have shown wonderful character this week; we should have won our game in the week, and in Europe it is never easy. Today, in the Premier League against a good team, we have kept a clean sheet and won against a team that doesn’t concede many goals.
“I was very satisfied and my overriding feeling was that I was delighted for the players because they are a wonderful group to work with.
“I felt we just needed to up the speed of our game a little bit, move the ball a little bit quicker and look to press the game a little bit higher up the field,” replied the boss.
“I thought in the first half we had enough of the ball, but lacked a little bit of intensity, which is understandable because the confidence of the team isn’t at the top yet.
“In the second half we were excellent and you just felt it was coming. The players deserve a huge amount of credit for the courage they showed today to keep going, and the resilience and persistence against a good side that have got really good players.
“A hard-fought victory for us, but a well-deserved one, I felt.”
Johnson suffered a cut to the head in the process of scoring the winner, and the boss felt the bravery shown by the full back is the sort of thing the Reds need to turn their fortunes around.
“Glen showed great anticipation,” said Rodgers. “The cross comes into the box to Rickie, who’s been brilliant for us and today showed great courage to get his head on the ball.
“It looked like it was going in and if you watch Glen’s anticipation, he was on the move and he shows great courage and bravery [to connect with the ball]. That’s something that the players have had, so it’s disappointing that we haven’t showed that of late.
“I think that confidence has been a little bit low. But before the Ludogorets game, we spoke in terms of how we are going to move forward and the standards that we have set here and how we need to get back to that. It’s not going to go back immediately, but you have to show resilience and courage and then football will come out.
“I thought in spells today our football was excellent. But we had to defend and we have to ensure that we defend with that mentality and then we’ll get results.”