Lost Liverpool give Evans testing time
In the days ahead, Roy Evans faces a new challenge at least the equal of the one he took on when he succeeded Graeme Souness as Liverpool manager little more than a year ago.
For much of this season, he has been rightly credited with putting the team back on the right track. The 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers at Anfield provided confirmation that they have lost their way again.
Rangers, under their recently appointed manager Ray Wilkins, are sticking to the well-established Loftus Road principles. They were much the better team in the first half - net, tidy, inventive and with the formidable striking partnership of Les Ferdinand and bright teenage prospect Kevin Gallen always threatening.
They should have had more than one goal, gifted to them after six minutes by David James when the giant goalkeeper failed to cope with a low 20-yarder from Gallen hit more in hope than anything else.
Despite being only one point clear of the bottom four, Rangers have games in hand and, on this evidence, are capable of climbing the table.
Liverpool, in contrast, don't look capable of much at the moment. They have produced only a few flashes this year of the form that made us think the great revival was under way.
This Wednesday night they are at home to Crystal Palace in the first leg of the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final. On Sunday they entertain Wimbledon in the fifth round of the FA Cup. They then travel to Selhurst Park for the second leg against Palace.
Evans has to sort them out again to keep them in contention. Another performance like that in the first half against QPR will not do.
In midweek he was critical of the performance in the narrow win over Burnley, saying his side did not pass with a purpose. Of the first 45 minutes on Saturday, he was scathing.
There was an improvement in the second half, though. Liverpool roused themselves and showed they had not run out of steam, claiming a good equaliser from defender John Scales, sliding the ball in at the far post 19 minutes from the end.
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