Brendan Rodgers has explained his decision to bench the vast majority of his summer signings against Stoke, insisting the Liverpool squad needed experience as they attempt to recover from a lull in form.
The Reds came out of the game with a 1-0 win and Rodgers' elation at the result was obvious as he ran to the Kop with his fist in the air. It was their first win in the league since October 19th and with the side harbouring Champions League hopes a lot of repair needs to be done before the turn of the year.
Rodgers faced some criticism in the lead-up to the gae against Stoke as Liverpool confirmed the likes of Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic would remain on the bench. All were signed in the summer by Rodgers and after the club spent over 100m on new talent it was a controversial choice to go with Lucas Leiva and Kolo Toure in a must-win game.
But Rodgers argued that experience was the priority for this match and that his signings will get their chances to impress during the season.
"We need players in the team with quality and experience," he said, according to the Liverpool Echo. "Lucas has come in and been outstanding in the last two games, very tenacious and aggressive and someone who can pass the ball.
"Kolo Toure's experience coming in has been good for us. The guys who have come in will get an opportunity over time.
"We are in a moment where we need to get results and improve our style of football and get confidence into the team. In the last couple of games we have shown we are slowly getting there."
Liverpool face Leicester on Tuesday night and Sunderland next Saturday, and the side will be aiming to take maximum points from the fixtures and get back into the top half of the table at the very least.