Brendan Rodgers spoke ahead of Liverpool‘s Sunday clash against Tottenham Hotspur and maintained that the Reds were not under pressure and the objective is still to finish as high up in the table as possible
The Reds are the dark horses in the race and are battling for the coveted title with favorites Chelsea and Manchester City. However, Rodgers, at his Melwood press conference this afternoon, said that his side are still not assured of a Champions League spot:
“There’s still 21 points to play for, so we’re not guaranteed a Champions League place. We can only focus on our next game”.
The Northern Irishman admitted that there was a lot for him to learn himself and he is enjoying the process of it all:
“As one of the younger managers in the league, there’s still a lot for me to learn. I’m just enjoying seeing us develop. I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
He said that the Reds’ comparative lack of experience in title chases may not count against them.
“It can work both ways. You can look at us as a staff and we are very hungry to succeed. That hunger can give you a real advantage. There’s teams with more experience than ours, but we’re a team that’s got the hunger. Other teams might have better depth, but we’ve shown as a team we’re developing.
“It’s a process that started 18 months ago. We’re looking for sustainable success. We’re looking to build something.”
City and Chelsea both come to Anfield next month for matches which will surely have a huge say in the eventual say in what the table looks like at the end of the last match of the season. Rodgers, however, has said that he will not be taking too much interest in the other matches his rivals have to play.
“Our focus has always been on Liverpool. All the other teams have got outstanding managers. You can only really focus on yourself. You can’t focus on what other teams are doing. I’ll only focus on Liverpool.”
Rodgers spoke with pride of the reverse fixture, where the Reds beat Spurs at White Hart Lane 5-0:
“When we beat Spurs 5-0, we played fantastic attacking football, and kept a clean sheet. Tim’s done really well, brought passion back.
“We’re at Anfield this weekend. We expect to win every time, whoever we’re playing. We’re not always going to be four, five or six-nil up in games. Sunderland defended very well, but we dominated until they scored.
We’ve got seven games left and 21 points to play for. The objective has always been to finish as high as possible.”
Brendan Rodgers also hit back at Tim Sherwood who said in his pre match conference that Liverpool were starting to feel the pressure of being involved in the title race and the match was their’s to lose. Rodgers said:
“We’re very relaxed. We’re focused. There was no expectation on us being where we are so there’s certainly no pressure from ourselves.
“I suppose the likes of Tottenham are a team who were maybe looking to be challenging for the league this season. You spend £100m-odd – it’s a group that’s set up to challenge.
“There’s certainly no pressure on ourselves, and I think we’ve shown that over the course of the season. We’re playing with no fear.”
Sherwood had made his comments with regards to Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Sunderland in the mid-week late clash at Anfield, where the Reds did not put up the most solid display and conceded a goal in the second half to be on the back foot towards the end of the match:
“We conceded a poor goal, which we’ve done this season a few times, and obviously it gets a little bit anxious.
“But I’ve got to give credit to the players because we showed the other night we can win in a different way. By the end of it we showed great resilience and managed the game well to see out the result.”