Brendan Rodgers insists he's a better manager now than when he arrived at Liverpool, but admits he needs results to save his job.

The Kop boss is under increasing pressure following a run of six matches without a win outright, after Wednesday's Capital One Cup defeat of League Two Carlisle United arrived via a penalty shoot-out.

Rodgers concedes the speculation which surrounds his position is to be expected, but remains confident in his ability to manage England's second most successful club.

"There's always going to be speculation around your job, especially when you're not winning," the Ulsterman said, as quoted by ​The Telegraph. "Since I've been here there's probably 10 managers been linked with the job.

"I have regular contact with the owners and the relationship has always been strong.

"If I'm here for one more day, one month, or one year... I'll always do my very best to get results. I enjoy the pressure of the challenge.

"I'm a much better manager (than when I arrived here three years ago) but I know I need to get results.

"I know we've created that expectancy because of how we worked. Because of how well the team have operated (previously)."

Liverpool v Carlisle United - Capital One Cup Third Round

Rodgers also defended his team following the unconvincing manner of their passage to the League Cup's fourth round, and praised the impact of striker Danny Ings in recent weeks.

"No matter what league a team is from, when they defend like Carlisle did it can be very difficult to break down," the 44-year-old pleaded.

"The message would be to stay with the team, because they really are fighting for them.

"I've been really happy with [Ings'] contribution. He's a very positive young guy, always analysing his game.

"The squad are fine, very stable and very focussed on the process of winning games. I always believe that hard work pays off. We're all working tirelessly to win games."

Stoke City v Liverpool - Premier League

Rodgers, who confirmed the absence of Dejan Lovren (out for "a few weeks" with ligament damage) and Christian Benteke (of whom there is "no timeline") for Saturday's visit of Aston Villa, revealed that £29m signing Roberto Firmino "may have cracked a bone in his back".

Daniel Sturridge will return to the squad to face his hometown team, however, as the Reds boss reaffirmed his belief that he is the right man for the job.

"My belief and confidence is there, and always has been," Rodgers added. "I don't shy away from the fact you need to get results and be performing well.

"To manage a club at this level, of course it presents you with challenges. It has been absolutely fantastic and I've loved every minute.

​"My time here has been really enjoyable. And I hope it can continues to be that. I want to ensure I'm here for a long period.

"I will do my best to continue to prepare my players to play exciting, dynamic football and win games.

"I'm never complacent enough to think it has never been. Positive fear drives you on"

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League