I have no doubt we will challenge for the title again - Rodgers
Liverpool boss certain he is the man to bring glory to Anfield
Brendan Rodgers says his belief that he will eventually deliver the Premier League title to Liverpool has not wavered despite a poor season.
The 25th anniversary of the club's last league championship is approaching, and although Rodgers was close to ending the wait a year ago, he has been firefighting in the past eight months. The manager remains in bullish mood about the prospects, however.
"Absolutely," Rodgers said. "When I came in here it was a long way off. The club was eighth and you'd never have even talked about it.
"I think it's a mark of how the club has moved forward that there's such disappointment that we weren't challenging this year. Of course it's been disappointing not to have had a challenge this year. I have absolutely no doubt it will happen.
"You have to continue to fight. Where we are at now is probably par. We can't accept that, we have to continue to find ways to develop players, work to the idea of how the owners want to work here and find that way to break that.
"That's something that I'm very hungry to do. And it's something I won't rest in my time here until we have. It's small in terms of what we need, but it's key to how we function.
"If you look at our goals when I first came in here I talked about the need to improve the goal tally, and we did that. And now we're back at the same situation again where I need to improve and we need to find a way to do that. If we can do that there's a greater base there and foundation in the team where they understand the principles of how we work. And we can just add and prioritise in the summer. It will be a big summer for us to find the right type of player that can come into that and do that. Then we can build on how we've worked for a lot of the last 18 months. The frustration would probably be for the first part of the season.
"If you look at the second half of the season we are up there - only Arsenal have taken more points than us since Christmas. Following that first part, we addressed the issues and have been reasonably consistent over the course of the second half.
"The regret, if there is regret, is that first half. We would need to start much better next season and that is what I will look back on when the season is finished."
Rodgers expects players to leave Anfield in the summer, but offloading is often easier said than done. "I'm sure as a player you want to be playing, no matter the greatness of the club or the size of the club. Ultimately, it's about playing. I'm sure some will be looking to assess that over the summer. It's hard to leave a club like Liverpool. It is very difficult, that's the reality of it. You have to respect that. You also work to the notion that players will want to play.
"Most players work hard all week in training. And why they take part in the game is because of the game. And if they are not playing, that obviously makes it difficult for them. If you haven't been playing for a sustained period of time then of course it's something you look at."
Hull manager Steve Bruce, meanwhile, has called for Premier League officials to act to curb rising ticket prices ahead of tonight's clash.
Visiting fans' group Spirit of Shankly is organising a boycott of the game in protest at the £50 tickets, and Bruce echoed his Liverpool counterpart Rodgers in backing the supporters' right to do so.
"I feel sorry for the supporters of big clubs who have to dig deep every week and I hope when the new TV money comes into play ,the Premier League can remember football does belong to supporters," said Bruce. (© Independent News Service)