Brendan Rodgers has again played down Liverpool‘s Premier League title winning talks after the Arsenal rampage and has insisted that getting to the Champions League remains the firm focus.
Brendan Rodgers has said that Liverpool remain focused on the remainder of the campaign, after the thumping 5-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend.
The Reds smashed the Gunners at home, which knocked them off the top of the table. Liverpool put up one of the finest attacking displays and would be proud of that performance for a long time in the future. Arsenal were four goals down after 20 minutes, as the Reds took one of the most comprehensive leads in the first half. Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel both scored a brace each while Daniel Sturridge got his name on the score-sheet again. Luis Suarez still hasn’t scored a goal against the Gunners but was instrumental in the demolishment of Arsenal with a sublime performance.
— TheHardTackle (@TheHardTackle) February 9, 2014
However the players and staff were back at Melwood less than a day later, with the focus firmly on the midweek trip to Fulham.
Rodgers said that the environment at Liverpool was one of “continual improvement” and spoke in his pre-match press conference:
“We were in the following morning; the players were recovering and as coaching staff, we will first and foremost analyse the game, take the positives from it and the areas we can improve upon. We’ve had an extensive analysis of the game and we’ll share that with the players before we play next, both individually and in terms of group work.
“We do a lot of individual work here with the players, showing them areas of their game which are very, very good and highlighting their strengths – but also areas they can improve on. That’s the environment here – it’s a continual improvement, both of senior and young players.”
Rodgers said that the result against Arsenal got magnified because it was one against a top team, but Liverpool have had a number of similar performances in the past:
“It was an outstanding win. We were on top of our game at the weekend. Of course, it gets magnified more when it’s against a top team, but we’ve had many similar performances this season against different opponents.
“But certainly it was wonderful to watch the team playing with that concentration, organisation, focus and quality – and it was particularly pleasing to see so many young players, and young British players.”
Liverpool are now six points off league leaders Chelsea and the media pitted the same “title challengers” question against Rodgers who answered:
“I came here to challenge for titles, so there is no limit on our ambitions. I came to this great club hopefully to be here for a number of years in order to bring back the success and continue on from some of the great work the likes of Kenny [Dalglish] was doing here before I arrived.
“The momentum has been building and building, but I just think it’s unprecedented to go from being where we were last year in seventh position [to first]. I’m very much full of optimism for this football club and the development of the team, but I also have to be realistic as well and I think it’s something that might be too much for us this season. But that doesn’t stop us fighting or wanting to be the best we can be, and at some point in my time here we will be ready.”
Rodgers insisted that getting to Champions League continues to be the club’s main aim:
“For us, I really only focus on the team and the football club, and make no mistake – I want to get into the Champions League for the people here at the club and the people of the city,
“I came here to try and inspire the city as much as the team. I know what Champions League football can bring to a city like Liverpool and everything it can generate. I keep the focus on improving the players, improving our performance levels, and you can see from the continuation of the development we’ve made over the last 18 months that we’re going to be a match.”
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