Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers talks about the club’s chances to qualify for the Champions League next season and insists that Suarez is happy at the club.
Liverpool made a flying start to their campaign this season, but the Merseyside club have dropped five points in their last three matches. They lost their last league match against league leaders Arsenal and are currently five points behind the Gunners in the points table. Liverpool will look to bounce back from that loss as they host another London side this weekend. The Merseyside club have good record against Fulham at Anfield and Rodgers will be hoping for a good performance from his side.
Brendan Rodgers believes that Liverpool need to average two points per game to secure a Champions League qualification spot in the league this season. He has urged his side to keep their concentration and focus on the job at hand against Fulham.
“If you look at where we’re at if you’re averaging two points a game you would like to think you would get into the Champions League.
“Come Saturday if we can get another three points – which we’ll be fighting hard for – that would take us above that.
“We just need to keep focusing and keep our concentration.
“We’ve built a platform this year but we have to keep pushing and moving forward or else it counts for nothing.” – The Liverpool manager said.
Brendan Rodgers also felt that his side could have got something out of the game against Arsenal last weekend; despite the Gunners having better control of the game. The former Swansea manager felt that Liverpool players didn’t perform at the level they are capable of in that game.
“Having analysed the game twice afterwards I thought they had better control of the game than us; that’s something that is part of our identity that we’re looking to improve.
“But in terms of chances we could have got something from the game. That always gives us great hope.
“We didn’t play to our maximum but we still could have had something from it.
“We’re just looking to grow and improve our level in every aspect. That’s something we’ll continue to work on.” – Rodgers added.
Brendan Rodgers also revealed that Glenn Johnson has recovered from his injury and is likely to feature against Fulham.
“Glen Johnson will be fit.
“He’s fine. He’s trained this week – it was just one of those peculiar things that happened.
“Maybe if it had been a day earlier, he may have been able to play.
“But he’s fine for the game and has looked good in training this week.” – The former Swansea manager told the press.
Luis Suarez has been in wonderful form since his return to first team action and although Liverpool have been able to retain his services in the summer, speculation regarding his future hasn’t died down. But Brendan Rodgers insists that Suarez is happy at the club and that the Uruguayan striker has always proven his commitment. He also believes that Suarez now understands that he can now possibly achieve his dream of playing in the Champions League with Liverpool next season.
“I haven’t been given anything to the contrary. Looking and speaking to him Luis is as happy as he has ever been.
“He recognises we have a real genuine chance this year of breaking in there (the top four) this year.
“Last year was about transition and the second season was about improvement and he has seen that.
“He had a difficult summer but he has come back and he is more mature and his performance level has been really high.
“He sees a genuine chance for us to make that (top four). He is happy here.
“From a club perspective, we made a stance last summer, not only for Luis but for every player.
“If we think it is time to sell a player, we will. If not we won’t.” – Brendan Rodgers revealed.
Liverpool’s midfield has also faced criticism in recent times. Critics have pointed out the lack of pace in the midfield with an ageing Gerrard and Lucas in it. This has been cited as one of the reason why Arsenal midfielders dominated the duo in the game. But Rodgers defended the duo and insisted that it is important for the team to have the right balance between technicality and mobility.
“We have got very good players and in that game Arsenal had outstanding ability.
“In fairness to Steven and Lucas, they worked very hard. Steven picked up an injury (to his hip) and struggled in that part of the game because of that.
“There’s no doubt in the modern game you have to have that mobility in midfield but you also need the balance.
“You also need players who are technically good, can play and can participate in the game tactically and of course the modern game gets quicker every year.
“That is an area you need mobility in and for us, going forward, it is something, as with every area, we will try to improve.” – he told the press.