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Shoot-out win can unite Liverpool - McAllister

Gary McAllister believes a penalty shoot-out victory over Carlisle United on Wednesday can help to unite Liverpool as they struggle early in the season.

The Merseyside giants, without a win from their previous five matches across all competitions, gave up the lead to draw 1-1 at home to League Two opposition in the third round.

James Milner, Emre Can and Danny Ings scored from the spot to see off Carlisle 3-2 on penalties, although the underwhelming result is unlikely to ease the pressure on Brendan Rodgers.

The under-fire manager opted not to face the media at Anfield after the game, leaving his first-team coach McAllister to try and seek the positives in another unconvincing display.

"There were flashes [of good play], but we're not up to the speed we're looking at or the passing game we're striving to perform," he said.

"It's a good night in that we're through to the next round, but we want to perform better and that's what we're striving to do. We want to get that rhythm going which has been seen here in the past with the major part of this group of players.

"And it will get better. The feeling is that we're working hard in training, we'll persevere, and we'll try to win games and perform well."

While Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho both missed their spot-kicks, Liverpool avoided what would have been a damaging upset against a team sitting 10th in the fourth tier of English football.

And McAllister is hopeful the result will offer the squad a morale boost ahead of a home game against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

"We've shown a bit of character…so maybe this is one of those little things that can bring us together as we look forward to the weekend."