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Brendan Rodgers: Now we must really focus on the FA Cup


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits his side were too slow in the early stages of their heavy away defeat at Arsenal.

The Reds desperately needed a win to keep their top four hopes alive but with Manchester United also winning on Saturday they are now seven points from Manchester City with the Citizens in action on Monday away at Crystal Palace.

And the Northern Irishman offered no excuses as he says the focus will now be shifted to the mid-week game against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.

"We started the game slowly, right from kick-off," Rodgers told reporters after the game.

"We're normally very positive from the first kick of the game, but we played backwards, and from there we made a couple of loose passes and for the next 10 minutes we were on the back foot.

"But we grew into the game then and started to connect the game better on the field; we should have gone in front, we had two great chances to take the lead.

"If you can get 1-0 in front, especially when you're playing well, you can hopefully dominate the space as well as the ball. But we didn't manage to do that and then we had the crazy period just before half-time.

"If you look at our last six or seven games away from home, we have defended very well and kept clean sheets, but we defended very poorly in that period and before you know it you're 3-0 down.

"In the second half you're playing for pride and the players did that and were much better in the second half.

"Now we must really focus on the FA Cup and that's going to be very, very important for us.

"We'll try to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can and take all of this going into next season, when we'll have to make a really bright start in the opening eight games."

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