Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool definitely need to strengthen their squad to compete in the Champions League next season
Liverpool are fighting for the title at the moment, something which they don’t hold completely in their hands after the 2-0 loss to Chelsea, but have assured themselves with a Champions League spot- this season’s first priority- as they can now not finish lower than the third spot. Brendan Rodgers admitted that his side would need to strengthen in the summer to fight for trophies next season.
“For us, going forward, a sense of the future, we know we have to strengthen our squad”, said Brendan Rodgers
“We’re in the Champions League next year, which will be great. But we want to be in every competition and challenging on all fronts – that clearly means that we have to strengthen the depth of our squad.”
The Northern Irishman admitted that he was glad after Luis Suarez reiterated his desire to stay at the club
“Luis Suarez has been outstanding in all my time here and obviously, in particular, this season. So it was very well deserved and I know he really respected it, coming from the players in this country. I know he’s happy.”
“To know that he’s happy is important, like it is with all of our players. It’s very important that we have players here that are content, happy and focused on Liverpool.”
Rodgers insisted he has had no need to lift Steven Gerrard after the Reds skipper’s costly slip in the game against Chelsea last weekend.
Rodgers was asked if he had to talk to Steven Gerrard to lift him after the Liverpool captain’s slip proved deadly and cost Liverpool a goal against Chelsea right before half-time. The manager replied:
“No, not at all. Stevie was like us all – we all hurt [after the game]. Obviously it was a big game. Steven played really, really well, but he was just unfortunate to make the slip and Demba Ba went through and finished really well.
“Steven is a guy who has picked himself up over many years after disappointments. And he will do it again. He’s a real, real good man. I think it’s been a wee bit over-analysed as well – the guy slipped, which can happen to anyone. Unfortunately it led to the goal. It happens and we move on.”
The Liverpool manager criticized Mourinho’s defensive tactics when speaking to the media immediately after the game, saying: “I think they parked two buses today, never mind one.”
But the Chelsea boss told a news conference on Tuesday that Rodgers had texted him to offer “congratulations for a great victory and a great performance.”
Asked about the matter Rodgers replied, “I just congratulated Jose. He’s a friend of mine and he got a good result last weekend.
“I’ve watched the game twice and looked at it in great depth,” he said. “Chelsea – a team in the Champions League semi-finals – showed us a huge amount of respect.
“It was very difficult for us to break them down. You had a back four who played really narrow and defended very strongly. The two wingers dropped in to make it a back six and they had three midfield players in front of that.
“There were many aspects of our game which were very good. The speed of our game was excellent. We just couldn’t find solutions in the final third and that’s something we’ve worked hard at in training this week.”
“We were disappointed with the result. But I analysed the game, watched it twice, and offered congratulations to a friend. They defended very well. They got the points and we move on.”
Like mentioned above, Liverpool don’t hold their title winning dream destiny in their own hands. After the loss against Chelsea, Liverpool need to win their remaining two matches- against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United- and need Manchester City to draw or lose one of their remaining three matches. City face Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham next and Liverpool’s local rivals are in the best position to beat them.
Rodgers admitted that he will be watching events at Goodison Park with interest.
“Everton have fantastic players who can get a result. I’ll probably watch the game. I’m not one of these who says they will be on a golf course.”, he said
“I love football and I watch every type of game so I am sure I will be watching it somewhere.
“Make no mistake, Everton are a terrific football club in their own right,” he said.
“They are one of the big clubs in British football. They have their own pride and their own reasons why they want to win the game.
“They have done really well this year and are still vying for that Champions League place. They have been very strong at home and they have some outstanding players.
“Manchester City have found it difficult going to Goodison in recent years. It certainly won’t be because of Liverpool that Everton are pushing for the win, it will be for themselves.
“Of course whenever it’s out of your hands you hope that other teams can do you a favour but you can only really control your own destiny. That means looking to our next game and winning against Crystal Palace.”