Liverpool must show "bravery" in order to end their winless run stretching back to August, according to first team coach Gary McAllister. The Reds have not won in their last five games and face League Two side Carlisle United in the Capital One Cup tonight (23 September).

McAllister was one of a host of new backroom staffers who arrived during the summer, coming in to replace Colin Pascoe, while Sean O'Driscoll was also appointed as Mike Marsh departed the Merseysiders. The former Scotland international has watched on during a harrowing run of form for the club, which has seen pressure pile on manager Brendan Rodgers.

The League Cup meeting with Carlisle could work as much-needed respite for Liverpool ahead of the resumption of their top-flight campaign. McAllister – taking over media duties from Rodgers ahead of the third-round tie – said the players need to show courage with the ball and play their natural game.

"They've got to rise above that and that's where we come in and hopefully where I do," McAllister said, according to the Liverpool Echo. "I have played in front of frustrated crowds when things aren't going well and I think that's when you push your shoulders back and show that bravery.

"And bravery is not whacking into people and elbowing people. It's about getting on the ball in tight areas and taking responsibility. We have enough here to do that. I don't have any fears about us putting that right.

"The middle of the park is where you do need people to get on the ball and make play. I watch Philippe Coutinho, Lucas and [James] Milner. They don't shy away from the ball. They will continue to prompt and probe to try and make things happen."

The ex-Liverpool midfielder added: "Seeing the quality when I arrived I thought we could achieve something here. Just gathering momentum and winning the first one just gives you that 'we can do something' [feeling].

"And that's the thing we have got to try and press on here. They should be looking around the dressing room and thinking there's a lot of quality and depth as well. If you looked at the bench at the weekend it was strong so the nucleus is there to actually go on and be threatening to win.

"In the early rounds you gather momentum and gain belief. We'll give the competition the respect it deserves. There will be some changes but we'll be strong. We need some stability with our shape and style, and we want to go as far as we can in it."