Sunday 26 October 2014 11:22, UK
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised Mario Balotelli after the goalless draw with Hull City and has vowed to stick with the misfiring striker.
Balotelli has not yet scored in the Premier League since moving to Anfield and missed a great chance to win the game against Hull when he failed to connect with a cross just moments before the full-time whistle.
Liverpool drew a blank at home for the second straight game but Rodgers is convinced the controversial Italian striker will still come good.
He is working hard and he is doing his best.
Rodgers said: "I thought he worked very well, very hard. He maybe thought he wasn't going to play today but you have got to stay with it. He is working hard and he is doing his best.
"Unfortunately it is that wee bit of confidence sometimes, when you don't get the goal. He kept going, kept getting into the areas.
"Sometimes with players if it's not going so well they have a day where they don't train or don't work, but he puts himself out to train every single day. He is out there wanting to be better, wanting to improve.
"Goalscorers will tell you they get their energy from the ball hitting the back of the net and it is just not happening for him in terms of that, but all I will ask is they do their best. You saw today's reaction. It was unlucky he didn't get the goal."
Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho both went close in the closing minutes before Balotelli was denied at point-blank range by visiting keeper Eldin Jakupovic.
Rodgers said: "It was a big chance. We had one or two of those but we couldn't quite put the ball in the net.
"He will be disappointed he hasn't scored but, for the team, it was a big effort on the back of playing against a good team in midweek.
"We were a bit slow in the first half but in the second half I thought we were outstanding in the energy and effort we put into the game. It was a game we should have had three points from."