Brendan Rodgers is hoping for a favor from West Ham on the final match-day of the season but maintained that the focus remained at Liverpool’s own match against Newcastle
Liverpool face West Ham in the final match of the season in a match where the Kop faithful would have thought, would be the one where they ended up with the title. However, that was before the defeat to Chelsea and the surprising and catastrophic draw against Crystal Palace. Now, the club can only hope that they win their match against Newcastle and that West Ham, who face Manchester City at the Eithad, are able to somehow win the match and deliver the title to Liverpool. These permutations are too far fetched to count on and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers conceded that the title was staying in Manchester this season. The Northern Irishman, in his pre match conference said that while the Merseyside club would only focus at its own task, West Ham were capable of delivering for the Reds and could dent City’s hopes.
“It’s certainly not over”, said Rodgers
“First and foremost, we can only concentrate on our job, our job is to win the game. I think Alan (Pardew) will come and he’ll want to finish his season strong. We know that it’s a tough game. But the combination of us at home and our supporters has been fantastic for us. To look to get 16 wins out of 19 cometh the weekend would pencil in a great return for us at home.
“For them (Manchester City), West Ham have got some really talented players. To be able to go to Tottenham and win 3-0, you can certainly go to Manchester City and win, specially if you a guy like big Andy (Carroll) up front with the quality that he has. City have got a really good defensive record, 14-odd clean sheets I think, so it shows that they’re a really difficult team to play against.
“So our focus is on ourselves, if we do our job then I’ll be happy.”
With or without the title, everyone can unanimously admit that Liverpool have had a terrific season. Afterall, no one thought that they would take the title race down to the last week and were also tipped by many to not even finish in the top 4. Brendan Rodgers spoke on the matter of the club finishing second and still exceeding everyone’s expectations:
“Firstly, I’d want to congratulate my players on the season. I think we’ve had a remarkable season, the players have put Liverpool on the world map again in terms of what we’re looking to achieve here as a club.
“The performance level has been exceptional over the season and come this Sunday we’ll fight to the very end.
“If we win the game and end up not winning the title I think to finish second to the richest team in the history of sport really shows the measure and the progress we’ve made here.
“What is poignant is that you guys, the media, are talking about us for the title. It’s a huge compliment to what we’re doing here, to be considered for it.
“I think for us this is only the beginning. I’ve been here two years and we’ve been progressing, this year we’ve made a step.I see and hear about all the teams that are going to improve and I think we’ll improve dramatically ourselves next season. We’ve got young players who have been through a great experience which will only bode them well for the future. (Even) Players like Steven Gerrard, 33 years of age, this is his first example of this type of run-in. He will be better next year also.
“So, for us, it’s only just the beginning. We’re really looking forward to finishing this season strongly.
“Tick the box at the weekend, it’ll be a tough game and then be prepared and really excited about next season.”
A lot of the credit for the club’s stellar season has gone to Rodgers and the Liverpool boss admitted that discussions are in order about a contract extension.
“Whatever the result at the weekend, we have had a successful season. The objective was to reach the top four, and that was said to be a tough ask for us at the beginning of the season.It’s my job to reinforce that.”
“I’ve obviously been in discussions with the club and there is the framework of a deal (contract extension)that is in place.”, said Rodgers
“But I have always said it will be at the end of the season. I want nothing to detract from what has been a great season for ourselves. Hopefully we will resolve it over the course of the off-season.”
Reports recently emerged over Liverpool tabling a bid for Southampton captain Adam Lallana and wanting to rope in the Saints star before the World Cup in June. Rodgers was quizzed on this.
“I’m sure you can respect that I would never ever mention another player at another club,” he said
“Adam’s a terrific young talent and young player, but there’s always speculation about top players.”