Rodgers confident of Champions League progress ahead of Basel decider

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Brendan Rodgers confident of Champions League progress despite late Ludogorets goal…

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers came out in defence of his players following Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Ludogorets, and reiterated his confidence that the Reds will progress beyond the Champions League group stage.

Rodgers, who was quoted by the Daily Mail, was speaking after his team were denied victory in Sofia after Ludogorets grabbed a last-gasp leveller through Georgi Terziev’s header.

Liverpool remain third in the group behind Real Madrid and Basel, but will qualify for the knockout stage if they beat the Swiss side at Anfield in two weeks time. Rodgers has no concerns and insisted he would have been happy to be in this position when the group stages started.

“We are very frustrated but we needed to come and put on performance to encourage us going forward and one that gave us chance of qualifying from group and had both of them,” he said.

“The reaction to going behind was fantastic and we showed real character. We fell behind to team that’s done really well here. But we showed spirit with the quality of goals.

“Of course, we are frustrated at the end because we had defended so well. We could have been two or three in front but we have come away with a point.

“Real Madrid beat Basle and I said at start it could come down to the last game. To have the last game at Anfield, needing to win to go through, I would have taken that.”

Rodgers also refused to point the blame at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, whose mistake led to the Bulgarian side’s first goal, saying: “Hopefully it is not an issue with his confidence.

“It was a disappointment for the team because we wanted a solid start and to go behind so early very frustrating. Thankfully it didn’t cost us overall.”

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