Neville: Lack of pace a worry for Reds

Gary Neville believes that Liverpool's lack of speed was one of the reasons that they came unstuck against Manchester United on Saturday.

The Reds suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of their bitter rivals, with Brendan Rodgers' side having now claimed just seven points from their opening five Premier League fixtures.

The Merseyside outfit have scored just three goals thus far, the joint-second lowest total in the league, and Neville believes that a lack of pace is costing them in the final third.

"At times over the last few years we have asked for them to be more rigid but now they seem to have gone the other way," he told Sky Sports.

"The lack of pace and runners in behind is a great concern for me. Now that Sterling and Suarez have gone and Sturridge is injured, they have been replaced with players without the same electricity who come to the ball. It's a lot easier to play against.

"If Liverpool's front players all want to come to the ball, who is making the runs behind the defence? If you don't make runs behind then it's a nightmare."

Summer signings Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino were deployed in wide roles against United, and former Reds boss Graeme Souness has criticised Rodgers' handling of his new recruits.

“The first thing you have to do with players is make them feel comfortable in positions they’re playing in,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“Firmino doesn’t want to be out there. On the other side Ings doesn’t want to be there. Right away they’ve got an excuse: ‘This is not my position, I’m not used to it’.

“Ings spent most of that half running towards his own goal. He would class himself as a striker, he doesn’t want to be doing that. What Firmino is I’m not quite sure, we might see that as the season pans out.

He added: “You’ve got square pegs in round holes and it just doesn’t work. You have to make people feel they are playing in positions they are happy to play in and Liverpool haven’t got that right now.

“They need goals. You won’t always play well, but if you’ve got goalscorers it camouflages a multitude of sins and Liverpool have got to come up with a system.

“I think they have to sit the players down. They all know what their favourite positions are and he must know he’s asking players to play out of position and I don’t think some of them are very comfortable with that."

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