Brendan Rodgers has Liverpool on the defensive

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has had enough on his plate this week dealing with the off-field antics of Italian bad boy Mario Balotelli.

Now he is trying to focus on his defenders ahead of his side's English Premier League clash with Hull City tonight at Anfield.

First, Balotelli was substituted at half-time in Liverpool's 3-0 Champions League defeat at home to Real Madrid after he swapped shirts in the tunnel with Real defender Pepe to earn a rebuke from his manager.

Greater Manchester Police, meanwhile, are investigating after a woman alleged Balotelli used threatening behaviour towards her daughter after she took pictures of the star's Ferrari in the suburb of Wythenshawe.

Rodgers (pictured) has tried to play down the Balotelli saga and said his focus was on the team, which needed to defend better.

The Northern Irishman's side has conceded 12 times in eight EPL outings this term with its sole clean sheet coming in the 3-0 win over Spurs on August 31.

"It needs to be better as a team, not just the defence and goalkeeper," Rodgers said. "We pride ourselves on clean sheets but we need to be more competitive and aggressive in those moments as a team.

"In the goals we've conceded, a large number have been soft so our job is to improve that record and that's something we'll continue to work on."

Tonight's other games: West Ham v Manchester City, Southampton v Stoke, Sunderland v Arsenal, West Brom v Crystal Palace, Swansea v Leicester