Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has come down hard on striker Mario Balotelli following Liverpool's first-leg win over Besiktas in the last-32 of the Europa League.
The Italian striker scored the winning penalty amid a bit of a controversy, but the manager has warned the forward over his future participation if he does not work harder.
The former Manchester City forward has struggled since his arrival in the summer, and has failed to impress for Liverpool. Despite this being his second stint in the Premier League, he has scored just one goal for the Reds in 13 league games.
The Italian international's Anfield stint looks to be in doubt as his manager was the second person to criticise him following the game.
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, who was injured for the game was unhappy with the forward for breaking the team code and disrespecting stand-in skipper Jordan Henderson, when it came to taking the spot kick that proved to be the winner.
The Northern Irishman has made it clear that Balotelli will only feature regularly for the Merseyside club, if he works harder for the team. The manager was particularly disappointed with the striker over his work-rate after he scored the penalty.
"If he works harder than when he came on, he will be," Rodgers said, as quoted by the Guardian.
Rodgers was then asked if he was happy with the substitute's performance. "No, not really, no," the Anfield boss replied.
"We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we got the penalty he stops working. So he needs to improve on that facet of his game to play in his position, rather than standing on the side of the football field," the former Swansea City boss explained.
Rodgers has insisted that Balotelli will not merit a place in the team just by scoring crucial goals. The manager wants the striker to put in efficient performances every time he is on the pitch, be it from the start or from the substitutes bench.
"He has contributed against Besiktas, he has got the penalty and scored the goal but that is what he is paid to do. He needs to keep that efficiency in his game and show that he can affect the team whether he is asked to play from the bench or from the start. In a different country and a different style of football that [goal] would be all that matters but in this team there is more to it than that," Rodgers concluded.