Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the “radical” change to his team’s system saved his job at the Premier League club.
Rodgers’ men were struggling early in the season before a switch to a 3-4-3 led to a much-needed turnaround – an 11-match unbeaten league run that has lifted them into sixth in the table.
The Northern Irishman said he had learned that results were all that mattered, with his only regret being not switching to the formation earlier.
“What I learned was it does not matter how much support you have in the boardroom, from the directors, the executives, you have to get results and you have to win,” Rodgers told the British press.
“I needed to make decisions that would allow us to get back to somewhere near what we had been and the transformation of the team, with everyone talking about the system and how dynamic it is, has been good to see. I should have done it earlier.”
With the league’s top goalscorer Luis Suarez having been sold to Barcelona in the close-season, Rodgers admitted his Liverpool side had “no identity” early in 2014-15.
Rodgers said the early-season struggles were the biggest test of his career, leading to what he believes was a revolutionary change.
“It wasn’t working. We had a huge challenge, probably the biggest I have had as a coach or manager,” he said.
“We had no identity and everyone could see it. We just weren’t the team I had built over a couple of years, certainly created the identity with the way we played.
“I knew I had to do something radical because I had seen enough of the players to know we were not going to be able to shape up and work and play as we had done for the previous couple of years with what we had got.
“That’s what I am, an innovative coach, and I needed to find a way to make us play better.”
Rodgers’ team face Burnley on Wednesday, with captain Steven Gerrard a chance to return from his hamstring injury.