Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says there was a “hysteria around the club” in the build-up to their

3-2 Premier League victory over Aston Villa.

Pressure had been growing on Rodgers after his side failed to win in 90 minutes in their past six games.

He told BBC Sport: “There’s a hysteria around the club. We’ve lost fewer games than Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in all competitions – two.

“It’s a huge club, a worldwide, iconic club, so the scrutiny on it is huge.”

He added: “It doesn’t affect us. We’re working hard and trying to integrate players back into the team. We have some top players to come back in.

“The players gave everything – I am proud of them. There was a lot of focus on them but we handled it very well. We looked creative and dynamic today.

“There is a group of people that don’t want me here. Myself and the players stay very calm and work very hard.”

Matchwinner Sturridge impresses Rodgers

England striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first two goals since March, having had hip surgery in the summer, with a fine volley and a cool finish.

“He was outstanding,” Rodgers said. “We missed Sturridge for over a year – he makes the difference and helps you compete. His finishes were exceptional. He’s not at his level of fitness yet.

“There was a couple of moments in the game when the ball’s gone in between him and the defender and, at his best, he’d be away and in on goal. It’s testament to how hard he’s working and how much he wants to be on the team playing.

“His two goals were the difference.”

Liverpool returning to their best?

The Reds drew their last two games 1-1 – including a

penalty shootout win over Carlisle

– but had a combined 81 shots in those matches against Norwich and the League Two side.

“The last three games, we’re starting to look back towards the flow and creativity in our game,” he said. “Our only disappointment today was the two poor goals we conceded where mistakes are costing us.”