Rodgers reminds Reds of 'outstanding' season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to lift his players' spirits by reminding them of what they have achieved this season.

Tipped to be battling for a top-four spot in the Premier League this campaign, the Northern Irishman's men are challenging for a first league title in 24 years.

A 2-0 loss at home to Chelsea on Sunday – their first defeat of 2014 – saw Manchester City take a perceived lead in the title race due to their game in hand.

Rodgers, whose side face Crystal Palace and Newcastle in their final two games, said he needed to remind his squad how well they had done after the crushing loss to Chelsea.

"I just reminded the players of the values of how we work," he said.

"We have a way of working and I take pride in that. We might not have got the result (against Chelsea), but you have seen over the course of the season we have made great strides and we will continue to.

"At the start of the season, people saw it was a real challenge for us to be in the top four.

"So with two games to go to be in the top three, really, really challenging, it's something that is really remarkable.

"But I’m not surprised, because of how we have worked and level the players have performed at.

"The games we won on our unbeaten run were exceptional, we were outstanding, and I have reminded them of that."

While table-toppers Liverpool have the league's best attack with 96 goals, they have conceded 46 times – the worst record of the top five.

Rodgers said he had been pleased with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has come in for some criticism, in his first season with the Anfield club.

"I've been delighted with Simon since he has come in," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"I think he's an outstanding goalkeeper who is only going to get better and better. He has come into a huge club and replaced a legendary figure at the club in Pepe Reina.

"That was always going to take a bit of time.

"But over the course of the season he has made a big contribution. I don't forget the significance of some of the saves he has made.

"Simon hasn't ever cost us a game but he has certainly gained us points. He's an excellent goalkeeper."