Brendan Rodgers has vowed he will work to iron out the mistakes which have cost his side points as Liverpool continue to compete on four fronts throughout the second half of the current campaign.

The manager was quizzed at his pre-Sunderland press conference on Thursday about periods in recent matches where the Reds have lost their ascendancy in the game and ultimately invited pressure from their opponents.

Against Swansea City on December 29, despite a convincing overall victory and competent team display, Rodgers' side allowed the visitors to pull a goal back and then press with intent for a second in front of a tense Anfield crowd.

While the Swans failed to capitalise, Leicester City rescued a point after trailing to two Steven Gerrard penalties on New Year's Day, as David Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp struck in the space of three frantic minutes to stun the home faithful.

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Gerrard's intervention steered the Reds to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday night against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow, but only after Adebayo Akinfenwa hauled the Dons level and the home side grew in confidence in the tie.

"In any game of football, no matter how dominant you are, there's always a period of pressure that you will come under," Rodgers told reporters gathered at Melwood. "It doesn't matter if you have the ball a lot of the game, you still have to defend at some points in that game and, of course, you have to remain calm.

"I think for us, the single biggest thing has been mistakes. It's not so much structurally, we have a tendency at times to make mistakes and that ultimately has cost us.

"I think that's something that we work hard on and we look to eradicate from the game. From the Crystal Palace game, we needed to change. We needed to get back our model of work and from that, we've slowly got back to a decent level again.

"There's still a lot of work to do. But part of that is ensuring that we don't give away silly goals. That's something that every coach or manager will tell you is continuous."

Liverpool have a Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea to look forward to at the end of this month, with home and away ties against Jose Mourinho's men scheduled either side of an FA Cup clash against Bolton Wanderers.

February will see the Reds kickstart their Europa League campaign with a return to Istanbul to face Besiktas, while in the Barclays Premier League, Rodgers' side currently occupy eighth position in the table, seven points behind the top four.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge in the second half of this season," admitted the boss. "It's still going to be tough. We respect that. But we've got great spirit at the moment.

"The football and idea is returning to our game. We'll make every push in every competition that we are in to bring success here.

"I'm looking forward to it. Players are developing, players are improving and we can see how seven points [away from fourth] may seem a lot, but it certainly can be whittled away. You just have to consistently win games and perform well and that's our idea."

The Reds will have the opportunity to add three points to their overall league total of 29 so far when they visit the Stadium of Light to take on Gus Poyet's Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Anfield witnessed a goalless stalemate between the two sides in the last meeting on December 6 - and Rodgers admits he is expecting a similarly resolute Black Cats to make life tough for the Reds at the weekend.

"They're very difficult to break down," said the manager. "They get a lot of numbers behind the ball. They close the space up and you have to work really hard and well to try to find the gaps to get in.

"It will be slightly different at home. They will be the home team and they will want to go on the offensive a little bit more.

"But they have good players and they have shown over the course of the season so far with a lot of draws that they are hard to break down, but that's our job to go there and look to put in a performance that gets the three points."