Rodgers grateful for Fenway backing

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers feels the backing given to him by owners Fenway Sports Group helped get him through a difficult start to his career as Liverpool manager.

The Northern Irishman endured a tough induction as he replaced club icon Kenny Dalglish and having reached mid-October with just one Barclays Premier League victory he found everything from his suitability to his methods called into question.

In an environment where even Roberto Di Matteo loses his job six months after winning Chelsea's first Champions League title and also lifting the FA Cup Rodgers admits patience is a rare commodity in football.

But after a number of early-season setbacks the Reds boss thinks the club is beginning to show signs of recovery and will continue to grow in line with his long-term plan.

"If you believe in a manager and put him in place and give him time what has been proven in this country is that can lead to success," he said.

"I think those early months were always going to be difficult; you are trying to instil and implement ideas initially without a great deal of success.

"Those early months could have been difficult but in terms of myself, players and staff we were very much focused on our job and there has been no change in ourselves, only improvement.

"All you can do is have an inherent belief in how you work and I believe this is the way the club wants us to work.

"As a manager, in order to fulfil what you want to over the longer term you have to take care of the short term - that was something I learned in my job at Reading.

"I was given a three-year contract and took the job in the great belief I was brought in to change the philosophy and ideas of the club and 20 games later I was out of a job.

"That was the harsh reality of managing a football club and from that I learned a lesson.

"I have been grateful to the board here because in order for me to come here that (support) was something which was going to be important because if we were going to keep the club moving in the right direction it was going to need some stability."

Liverpool seemed to have turned a corner in the last couple of weeks and they are unbeaten in seven league matches.

Despite defeat in Moscow a fortnight ago the Reds can also qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League should Udinese fail to beat Anzhi in Russia tomorrow and the Merseysiders defeat Young Boys a couple of hours later.

Rodgers gets the feeling his side are over their teething troubles in adjusting to a new way of working, although he accepts they are far from the finished article.

But he expects them to challenge on the domestic as well as European front, especially once he has been able to bring in new players in January.

"Of course, in that short term you want success and you have to show there is improvement," he added.

"I believe we are starting to show improvement and there is a real spirit and unity among us all.

"If we can stay like that and go through the pain together we can get out the other side and restore Liverpool to where it should be.

"But it is difficult in the modern game. There will be pain along the way, at times we will take two or three steps forward and take another step back, but that is a part of the journey.

"It is an opportunity for us tomorrow night. If the other result goes with us we can navigate our way through the group.

"We will improve in the second half of the season, this group will get stronger, and it will be easier going forward once we have supplemented the group.

"I wanted to build a competitive group and that means competing at the top end (of the league table).

"That is where every team wants to be and for us it is no different."