Sport Soccer

Sunday 21 September 2014

Liverpool can win league this year, says Brendan Rodgers

CHRIS BASCOMBE

Published 17/01/2014 | 08:04

  • Share
Brendan Rodgers has hailed Liverpool's owners

Liverpool can still win the Premier League title this season, insists Brendan Rodgers ahead of Aston Villa's visit.

  • Share
  • Go To

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, insists his side have the belief and nerve to maintain a title challenge and is looking beyond Champions League qualification this season.

Liverpool go into the weekend in fourth, six points off the top but with the rest of the top six all still to travel to Anfield.

The immediate target remains a top-four finish, but Rodgers is embracing the growing expectations.

He hopes the club’s principal owner, John W Henry, and chairman Tom Werner will see how much the side have evolved when they attend Saturday’s fixture with Aston Villa.

Rodgers said: “Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are based around Champions League squads. They have been religiously in there and they have got a lot of depth that they can call upon. But we know that if we have got the fortune to stay clear of injury and whatnot, I would put our team up against anyone. I would never give up the fight. Of course, the challenge is to get to fourth. Once you can do that, it is all about seeing if you can go beyond that.

Liverpool can win league this year, says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool can still win the Premier League title this season, insists Brendan Rodgers ahead of Aston Villa's visit

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, insists his side have the belief and nerve to maintain a title challenge and is looking beyond Champions League qualification this season.

Liverpool go into the weekend in fourth, six points off the top but with the rest of the top six all still to travel to Anfield.

The immediate target remains a top-four finish, but Rodgers is embracing the growing expectations.

He hopes the club’s principal owner, John W Henry, and chairman Tom Werner will see how much the side have evolved when they attend Saturday’s fixture with Aston Villa.

Rodgers said: “Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are based around Champions League squads. They have been religiously in there and they have got a lot of depth that they can call upon. But we know that if we have got the fortune to stay clear of injury and whatnot, I would put our team up against anyone. I would never give up the fight. Of course, the challenge is to get to fourth. Once you can do that, it is all about seeing if you can go beyond that.

“It’s a long way to go, but you can see it’s an open Premier League so the team that can make the least amount of mistakes and continue to evolve can hopefully win out at the end.”

Liverpool’s squad is not blessed with players with experience of competing for the title, and most of those who were around when the club last qualified for the Champions League have gone. Only six first-team players – Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Lucas, Daniel Agger and Martin Kelly – remain from the club’s last top-four finish in 2009.

Rodgers says he will lean on his experience managing Swansea to promotion in 2011 to deal with the pressure over the remaining months of the season.

“In terms of the message the manager transmits to the squad, I’ve always tried to be optimistic,” he said. “We work hard on that, and the consequence of that is the results on the field, and gaining confidence.

“It’s about staying calm - that is important as we go into this part of the season. I think it is important you maintain your standards.

“Success in one game or winning one game isn’t the thing, you want it to be continual.

“I think the footballing teams can come into their own at this stage of the season as well.”

Liverpool, meanwhile, have added Dunkin’ Donuts to their sponsorship portfolio.

Read More

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport