Brendan Rodgers took the long-term view on Liverpool's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, by explaining why the point could prove crucial to the Reds by the end of the season.

The travellers led midway through the opening period at the Hawthorns courtesy of Daniel Sturridge, who connected with a Luis Suarez delivery to the back post for his 50th strike in the Barclays Premier League.

A familiar face ruined ambitions of a winning start to February, however, as former Everton forward Victor Anichebe marked his substitute appearance with a powerful drive to secure a share of the spoils for the hosts.

Rodgers refused to be downhearted following the final whistle, though - instead highlighting the difference in results achieved against the Baggies in 2012-13 to those in the current campaign.

He told reporters: "We had good control of the game - there weren't many chances but I always felt that we dominated possession and looked dangerous with the ball.

"It was just one of those unfortunate things where we made the mistake and we got punished for it. Hopefully in the future we'll see it as a point gained.

"It tells you everything about our expectancy now; we came here and lost, and lost at home to West Brom, last year. So to get four points out of six shows the improvement.

"For us to be disappointed with a point away from home in the Barclays Premier League shows the growth of the team. We've done brilliantly up until this point.

"We've got 14 games to go and we're still in a great position, with big games to play, and the squad is very focused on our objectives. I'm very happy with the players that I have here and we'll fight right until the end to arrive where we want to."

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It was an error from centre-back Kolo Toure - who passed straight into the path of opposition striker Anichebe - that presented West Brom with an opportunity to level the scores in the second half.

The manager revealed the Ivorian international's despair concerning that mistake, but insisted that such occurrences are a necessary evil in the philosophy and style of football he demands.

"Sometimes it's the price to pay when you try to play football," the Northern Irishman continued in his post-match press conference.

"He shouldn't have received the ball in the first place, it wasn't the time for him to receive it. But that's part of our learning.

"I just said to the team that we're in the position that we are because over the last 18 months we have shown the courage and bravery that we can play football.

"Part of that is to build the game from behind. Unfortunately, for the first time this season, we got punished for that. He is an experienced guy, so he obviously knows that it was a mistake.

"He's devastated because he's a conscientious guy. But there's no blame for the courage that he had to receive the ball - he has misplaced the pass. It was a good finish by Anichebe, he finished it well.

"Unfortunately for us, it has cost us two points - but hopefully we'll see it as a point gained at the end of the season.

"There are times when you have to go slightly longer in your build-up, it's not forced upon them - it's just the decision-making. Will I ever ask a player, when he's in maybe 20 yards of space, to not accept and receive the ball?

"Never, because that's how we work and how we play. It's an exciting way to play football; sometimes it will hurt us. But it wasn't so much the playing out from the back, it was just the decision-making today."


The result consolidated Liverpool's fourth-place position in the Premier League and slightly increased the gap to fellow Champions League hopefuls Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Reiterating his belief that today's performance could be viewed as vital when the season is considered as a whole in May, the boss pointed to a positive week overall for Kopites.

The 41-year-old concluded: "I don't think you can argue with the defence. Of course he made a mistake, trying to play, but I thought we looked really solid.

"Up until the goal, we were fine - we had total control of the game. We didn't look troubled whatsoever in our goalkeeper and back four.

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"Our team as a whole were fine, but of course we made the mistake, which gives a little bit of momentum to the home team and you then have to stand up and be counted.

"I was proud of the players for that; when you make mistakes, sometimes you can go under and end up losing a game away from home in the Premier League 2-1.

"But we got ourselves together again and we looked to work the ball into areas. We changed the system a bit to give us something different and we still had a chance through Luis to get on the scoresheet.

"You can't expect them to score four, five or six goals every week - our offensive play this year has been scintillating. It was a really difficult pitch for us to get our fluidity on.

"But we still got a point and that's four out of six now against West Brom - we got none last year. So it's disappointing, of course, but we'll take it as a point gained.

"We've got four points from six this week in tough fixtures and it's another point away from the rivals in around and us. I won't be too concerned."