Spot the difference Rodgers says first win shows Liverpool have transformed
09:13 GMT, 27 September 2012
Manager Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will not easily loosen their grip on the Capital One Cup as he looks forward to a home fourth-round meeting with his former club Swansea.
Rodgers decided to change the entire team for the tie at West Brom but two goals from on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin ensured their first win in domestic football this season.
It was in stark contrast to the 3-0 defeat suffered by the Reds against the Baggies in the opening Barclays Premier League encounter of the campaign.
Voila: Nuri Sahin gave a sign of what might be to come
Rodgers said: 'It was a symbolic night because it shows how far we are moving as a group from our first day of this season.
'Then, we were a bit disjointed and players were not quite understanding my methods.
'But in the last three or four weeks our tempo and relentless possession has started to come through in games.'
Rodgers, who left the Swans for Anfield this summer, said: 'The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so.
'It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there.
'I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night.
'I said to the players afterwards that the cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want to give it up too easy.
'I want us to fight even though it is difficult because of our lack of depth in the group. It is a competition we want to do well in.'
Rodgers in confident the best is still to come from Sahin who was also an Arsenal target before moving to Anfield.
Much better: Brendan Rodgers (right) was pleased with the performance
He said: 'Nuri is still getting up to speed. It has been difficult for him.
'He was out for a long time and has come here having missed a big part of pre-season.
'But every day he is getting better. He has got great football arrogance, is terrific on the ball.'
Baggies boss Steve Clarke, a former number two at Liverpool, believes the rare mistake by keeper Ben Foster for Sahin's opening goal was crucial after Gabriel Tamas had broken the deadlock.
He said: 'We said we'd have a go, we certainly started that way. I think their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.
At the double: Sahin pockets his second goal
'I don't know why, maybe because it was such a soft goal to lose, but it knocked us back a bit in the first half.
'It is unusual for Ben. I don't think it's even worth having an in-depth discussion about it. It is not like Ben, it doesn't happen very often and we move on.'
Clarke admitted left-back Liam Ridgewell is a doubt for Sunday's derby at Aston Villa after limping out of action during the first half with a calf injury.