Rodgers still confident of going fourth
Published 09/02/2013 | 13:56
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers still believes his side have a terrific chance of qualifying for the Champions League this season.
The Reds boss insists closing a nine-point gap on fourth-placed Tottenham is tough but not insurmountable, particularly as they face many of their closest rivals at Anfield.
"We have nine points difference but we can do it, there is no question about that," he said. "It is a lot of points to make up but we will fight and accept the challenge in front of us."
He added: "We have had a lot of tough games and we have a lot of what we would consider our big rivals for those (Champions League) positions to play at home. Our form at home is getting better, we are scoring goals and are defensively strong so we sense a real opportunity.
"I believe if we continue to play how we have been and retain that focus and mentality we have a terrific chance. It is going to be very tough but it is not something which is impossible."
Liverpool's unwanted record this season of not beating a side in the Premier League's top 10 has been used as a stick to beat them with. Critics have argued the Reds do not have sufficient quality or consistency to make a push for the top four.
However, the next two months will be pivotal as of their eight league matches only one - Tottenham at home - is against a team they can rightly call rivals for a place in Europe's elite club competition.
Starting with West Brom at home on Monday they face Swansea, Wigan, Spurs, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Ham and Reading before the return to Anfield of former boss Rafael Benitez and his Chelsea side on April 20.
It is a perfect opportunity to silence the doubters and put together a run of results which could see them feature in a top-four challenge which seemed unrealistic at the start of the campaign.
"Once we reach the 10 games-to-go mark you are getting to the business end of the season and if we keep progressing like we are then that will make me happy," added the Reds boss. "But it is more longer term than that. We will fight and give everything we can to get the results to keep our performance level improving."