Rodgers: Meeting inspired us

The Reds boss had denied a report that an internal meeting following the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal had descended into crisis talks and his players responded on the pitch by booking their spot in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley with a hard-fought 1-0 replay victory over Blackburn.

Philippe Coutinho’s brilliant finish into the far corner with 20 minutes to spare was the difference between the two sides and Rodgers attributed the improved performance to Sunday’s gathering with his squad.

“There was a lot made of that,” he said. “I’m a coach who speaks openly to players. Part of the coaching philosophy for me is about reviewing and reflecting performance.

“It’s something that we’ve done all year when we were winning games. That provides us the lever to move forward – how can we be better, how can we improve?

“Because we lost a couple of games, there’s a lot been made of that meeting but that review was very, very important in how we want to work. If you don’t review and analyse your performance how can you get better?”

The stakes at Ewood Park were high for the Reds, who had fallen behind the Premier League’s top four following successive defeats, but their manager quashed suggestions their entire campaign had hinged on this result.

“I’d seen all of this about saving our season, it wasn’t about saving our season,” he added.

“As a team, we wanted it.??We want to compete at the top end of the league and want to win a trophy this year – that’s been clear.

“For us, we just needed to stay calm in the game and focus back on our performances. Our two performances against Arsenal and Manchester United weren’t to the standards we’d set for three months.

“We were heavily criticised and disappointed in both games we played because??of the standards we had set.

“We knew this was vital for us and the supporters. This was for them to give them the hope we were still progressing, but you have to win matches and??trophies to do that.”

Rodgers also praised Jordan Henderson, who had a hand in the winner, after??Tuesday night was interrupted by the birth of his second child.

“Jordan Henderson had to go back from the hotel because his wife had their??second child during the night and hadn’t slept much and has travelled all the??way back again, and has put in a performance like he did, a real captain’s??performance,” said Rodgers.

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