Balotelli must work harder, says Rodgers

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers warned Mario Balotelli he needed to improve his work rate to get back into the starting line-up.

The Italian has found some goalscoring form recently, netting the winners in Liverpool's victories over Tottenham and Besiktas.

Both times Balotelli came off the bench to be Liverpool's hero, although some controversy surrounded whether he should have taken the penalty against Besiktas.

Rodgers said he was "not really" happy with Balotelli's performance, insisting he wanted to see more from the 24-year-old.

“We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we get the penalty, Mario stops working," he said.

"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.

"He has contributed on the night, he has got the penalty and scored the goal, but that is what he is paid to do.

"So 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."

Rodgers asked if Balotelli could become Liverpool's go-to man, but again the Northern Irishman pinpointed a need for improved work rate.

"Well, if he works harder than when he came on, he will be," he said.