Brendan Rodgers says striker Mario Balotelli must up his work rate and overall contribution if he wants to become a success at Liverpool.
The enigmatic Italian was at the centre of a storm on Thursday when he took the ball from stand-in captain Jordan Henderson to score the winning penalty against Besiktas in the Europa League clash.
Rodgers gave Balotelli his blessing over the penalty incident, but has warned the often controversial striker he will have to work harder and contribute more to the overall team ethic to succeed at Anfield.
“We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we got the penalty he stops working,” said Rodgers.
“So he needs to improve on that facet of his game to play in his position, rather than standing on the side of the football field.”
Balotelli was again sprung from the bench against the Turks and things have started to look up for the 24-year-old in recent weeks since England striker Daniel Sturridge returned to fitness.
After a torrid start to life on Merseyside, Balotelli’s spot kick against Besiktas means he has now scored two winning goals and provided an assist for the winner in his last three matches.
Liverpool travel to fourth placed Southampton on Sunday hoping to continue the good run that has seen the Reds lose only once in 17 games in all competitions.
They go into the clash at St Mary’s as the only team without a Premier League defeat in 2015 and Liverpool are 2.91 to win, while Southampton are priced at 2.42 and the draw is 3.19.