Liverpool in title opportunity - Rodgers

Published Monday, 17 March 2014
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Carnlough man Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged that, fresh from a big weekend 3-0 away win over Manchester United, there is "an opportunity" for a Premiership title this year with his Liverpool side.

Liverpool in title opportunity - Rodgers
Stevie G kissed the camera on Sunday just like when Liverpool won 4-1 in 2008/09 (© Getty)

No manager is ever too keen to get carried away when it comes to title speculation and Rodgers continues to insist that, despite now sitting in second place, he will keep focusing on the next game.

But he does admit: "We're up there on merit, so of course we have an opportunity."

Rodgers is only in his second season at the helm of the Anfield club, having experienced something of a rocky start to his career as successor to 'King' Kenny Dalglish.

A run of poor form and failure to make crucial signings during last season's transfer windows even prompted speculation that the Co Antrim man would be making a swifter than anticipated exit.

How things have changed though ...

All the teams will drop points. We may well drop points, we may not. I can only look at our next game - I've done that since I've walked in the door. I'm not going to change now.

Brendan Rodgers, LFC

Liverpool are currently just four points behind league leaders Chelsea and are on a 10-game run where they have not lost a game.

And that run includes 3-0 away wins over Manchester United and Southampton, plus a 5-1 hammering of third-placed Arsenal

"I'm just focusing on our own team. We've got nine games left - we might win all nine and still lose it," Rodgers said, in the wake of Sunday's result at Old Trafford.

"We will just focus on our next game - that's Cardiff. I'm only focusing on our next game and looking to get three points."

But even the pundits have picked up on a change in the current Liverpool team when it comes to confidence and self-belief.

"We have a mentality that has been developing over the course of the 18 months I've been here. We expect to win home and away," Rodgers confirms.

"The belief is in the players now and you see that in their game."

But while Rodgers himself may be staying cagey about title hopes, he doesn't mind others making big statements and he certainly hasn't banned his players from talking about their chances.

His long-serving captain Steven Gerrard, who scored two penalties and should have nailed a third during the Man United game, insists Liverpool are definitely title contenders.

"We're going to fight to the end for this," he said.

"We've got to go and treat Cardiff like Manchester United and we've got to treat Sunderland like Manchester United. If we do, we'll win a lot of games until the end of the season.

"The rest of the teams around us have to believe we're going for it."

Liverpool's remaining nine league games include potential banana skins against basement sides Cardiff, Sunderland and Crystal Palace and clashes with fellow table-toppers Chelsea and Man City.

Meanwhile, Rodgers' counterpart over at Old Trafford is finding himself with a battle on his hands, as he tries to follow in the footsteps of Man United's legendary gaffer Air Alex Ferguson.

It will be very difficult(a top-four finish), but it's not over yet - so we have to keep working as hard as we can towards trying to do it.

David Moyes, MUFC

"The job was always going to be hard," David Moyes said.

But is it harder than he expected?

"Harder? Yes, I would say so," he admitted.

While he hasn't given up his hopes of a top-four finish and qualifying for the Champions League, from his side's current spot seventh in the league table, Moyes knows it will be a struggle.

This time last year, Man United were an incredible 29 points ahead of fierce rivals Liverpool - but this year, they trail them by 14 points.

"We've given ourselves a long task and a long road to try to get back in it," Moyes added.

His side's next task is to pick up the pieces after Sunday's defeat, branded by striker Wayne Rooney as one of his "worst ever" days in football.

They have to try to overcome a two-goal deficit in their Champions League game against Olympiacos on Wednesday night.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
martin in belfast wrote (313 days ago):
Liverpool have every chance of challenging for the title. I doubt they'll finish above city or Chelsea but they should finish in the top four. this will be a massive achievement for a club that is used to finishing in a mid table position.
Stuart in Carrickfergus wrote (313 days ago):
Im a spurs fan so pretty neutral. I hated watching liverpool playing as they were very boring i thought. But it has to be said rodgers has liverpool playing some great football, he has a lot of ordinary players believing they are superstars and can beat anyone . So only time will tell if they can win it but there still there atm As for utd they are terrible this year maybe we will see what moyes can do next year with all the money hes getting and then he will have no excusses. I hope that comes across pretty fair?
going dowm in ards wrote (313 days ago):
utd done well on sunday , they got a corner,
chump of thr year in anfirld wrote (313 days ago):
adrain, stick to knitting, you know nothing about football., like moyes.
Larry in Belfast wrote (313 days ago):
Man. United are so bad this year that if a team cannot beat them they don't deserve to be in the title race never mind have a chance of winning the title.
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