Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish accepted that there are problems within his side after they slumped to a sixth defeat in seven league matches against Newcastle United.
However, the 61-year-old Anfield great insisted he would stay calm in a bid to get the Reds back on track ahead of their FA Cup semi-final date with Merseyside rivals Everton on April 14.
Dalglish will have to make do without goalkeeper Pepe Reina for that game after the Spain international was sent off in the closing stages of the 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park on Sunday.
It was a troubled afternoon for Liverpool, who ended up with former Newcastle defender Jose Enrique in goal and saw another ex-Magpie, striker Andy Carroll, direct his frustration toward his boss before disappearing up the tunnel after his second-half substitution.
Dalglish, whose side face Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday and travel to Blackburn Rovers before their Wembley clash with Everton, said his players had to use their frustration to their advantage.
“We’ve got to try and remain calm and sort out the problems that we have, to get ourselves back to the way that we want to be playing,” Dalglish said of a Liverpool team who have already won the League Cup this season.
“I don’t think it’s a problem with confidence. We’ve got to stick together and believe in what we’re doing,” said the former Liverpool and Scotland striker, now in his second spell as Reds manager.
Carroll’s annoyance was symptomatic of a shambolic afternoon for the visitors as his replacement on Tyneside, Papiss Cisse, scored both goals for Newcastle.
The former Newcastle striker had earlier been booked for a 10th-minute dive when tumbling inside the penalty area.
Reina was sent off in the 85th minute after appearing to headbutt Newcastle defender James Perch.
He will now serve a three-match ban, meaning Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni — signed from AS Roma in July last year — looks set to make his Liverpool debut.
The defeat left Liverpool eighth in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of sixth-placed Newcastle.
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Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur won for the first time in six Premier League matches with a 3-1 victory over Swansea that revived their push for Champions League soccer.
Sunday’s success at their White Hart Lane home saw Tottenham draw level on points with third-placed north London rivals Arsenal.
It also meant Spurs, currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League place on offer to English clubs, went five points clear of nearest pursuers Chelsea and Newcastle.
Rafael van der Vaart stylishly sidefooted in Spurs’ opener in the 19th minute, before Gylfi Sigurdsson equalized in the 69th minute.
However, two late headers from Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, sealed a much needed win for Spurs, who have faltered in the Premier League ever since manager Harry Redknapp was installed as the favorite for the vacant England job following Fabio Capello’s resignation in February.
Dashing Wales winger Gareth Bale, who caused Swansea problems throughout, nearly set up an opening goal for Spurs in the 12th minute, but Adebayor could not convert his cross.
However, in the 19th minute, the hosts took the lead when Luka Modric released Bale down the left and Ashley Williams cleared his cross straight into the path of Van der Vaart, who steered the ball past fellow Dutchman, Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.