THE statistics are there to be manipulated depending on whether your glass is half-full or half-empty.
Liverpool go into tomorrow’s home Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic on a high after a gutsy fightback to earn a point at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
That result in the capital extended the Reds’ unbeaten league run to six matches – the club’s best sequence since last November.
However, four of those games have ended in stalemate and that’s the reason why the table still makes such unpleasant viewing.
Sitting 13th after 11 matches, Liverpool are closer to the bottom three than the top four – looking up at the likes of Stoke, Swansea, Fulham, West Ham and West Brom.
Manager Brendan Rodgers insists progress is being made but is only too aware that it’s time to raise the bar.
After a tough run of fixtures, the Reds need to get back to winning ways – starting with the visit of Roberto Martinez’s Latics.
“There are some games in the season where a draw is a good result,” said Rodgers.
“At Stamford Bridge, when you are 1-0 down with not long to go, to come back and get a draw is a good point. But it is no good if you don’t capitalise on that with your home games. It is important for us to show the resilience and steel in the team.
“These are formation stones for us going forward but it is important that we just continue to play as we have been.
“If we worry too much about winning, then you have that fear of making a mistake. I want the players to play with that freedom and expression within our structure. That will allow us to get the results eventually.
“We have shown resilience and character in the last six games. But we have to start winning if we are going to progress up the league. That is what we want to do. You have to be relaxed. The players want to win and we want to win. The supporters want to win. It is about how you go about it on the field.
“We will only do that when we are happy and content with our game. We need to fight for the result and get that wee bit of luck.”
Liverpool’s poor home form is a problem Rodgers inherited. Last season the Reds won just six of their 19 league matches at Anfield – the club’s worst return since 1951/52.
The Northern Irishman is still battling to find a solution. Reading are the only side to leave empty-handed in half a dozen home league games so far this term.
Twelve points out of 18 have been spurned with the Reds only finding the net five times in nine hours of football.
However, Rodgers has dismissed suggestions that his players feel burdened by pressure when they step out at Anfield.
“Hand on heart, I really don’t sense that,” he said. “Anfield is a wonderful place to play and the supporters have been incredible for us this season. I’ve had people come to the games and sat with people afterwards, including opposition managers, who have commented on the great support and how they believe in what we’re doing.
“I don’t feel that there is a burden. It’s the responsibility of us as players and management to get results consistently.
“I had the same thing at Swansea. The support we got was great and that gave us the momentum to push forward and win a lot of games at home.
“This is what Anfield has to be like and the supporters are playing their part. They have given us incredible backing.”
When he took over back in the summer, Rodgers talked of making a trip to Anfield “the longest 90 minutes of an opponents’ life”.
“I think there have been games where it has been like that but we just haven’t finished our opportunities off,” he said.
“There have been games where the performances have been relentless with great creativity but we haven’t been clinical enough.
“We can’t let it burden us. We are where we are. We have to win games and that will ultimately give us confidence.”
Beating Wigan has proved beyond Liverpool in recent years. Remarkably, of all the current Premier League clubs, the Latics have the longest unbeaten record against the Reds in the top-flight.
Liverpool haven’t defeated them in five attempts going back to December 2009 and Wigan’s shock 2-1 win at Anfield in March kick-started their successful bid to avoid relegation.
Martinez subsequently found his way on to Fenway Sports Group’s list of candidates when they were looking for Kenny Dalglish’s successor. The Spaniard was interviewed by John W Henry but Liverpool’s owners ultimately opted for Rodgers.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Roberto,” added Rodgers. “He did a terrific job at Swansea.
“He went to Wigan and has done an excellent job. Our philosophies are on the same lines in terms of how we want to work.
“Wigan beat Liverpool at Anfield last season so I know it’s going to be a tough game. But we are in a good moment and we want to turn these draws into wins.
“The players are bleeding the tank dry every week for me, they are putting everything into the game and I just hope very soon they will get the rewards for that. To come back like we did at Chelsea, without playing at our best, was good, but it’s important we win at home.”