Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned that involvement in the Europa League could hamper their good form in the league though his side want’s to do well in the competition.
Liverpool have turned things around remarkably since their 3-0 loss at Old Trafford and haven’t lost a game in 90 minutes; their only loss coming against Chelsea after extra time. They find themselves just four points away from the fourth spot, in the FA Cup quarterfinals after winning at Selhurst Park on Saturday, and facing a visit of Besiktas in the first leg of the Round of 32.
A tough Thursday-Sunday schedule awaits the Merseysiders in the upcoming weeks, but Rodgers is optimistic about their chances.
“We want to play as many games as we can,” he said in the aftermath of their 2-1 win at against Crystal Palace. “It will be tough, but when you’re winning games it gives you energy.”
a I said at the beginning of the season that the objective was to win a trophy, and so we want to be as strong as we can in every game.”
a The teama s in a good condition, mentally and physically. We made a couple of changes (against Palace), but the team has been very consistent.
“We had tough games this week, but the players have been brilliant and came through it well. Now we’ll recover and look forward to the Europa League because it’s a competition, like the FA Cup, we want to do well in.”
Rodgers said: “There is no doubt that you’re always playing catch-up. It can be tough. But it’s a European competition, so it’s a very prestigious tournament. And a Champions League place for the winner makes it more attractive, but there is still a way to go before you can think of that.
“Certainly we’re very focused on doing well in it. The players are young and hungry and this is a group who can grow over the next couple of years.
“But we would like to get a trophy to signify that growth so the Europa League is a competition we will take seriously.
a The prize does make it more attractive. But wea ve a way to go before we can think of that.a
Liverpool have a crucial few weeks ahead of them as they will travel to Southampton on Sunday after the Besiktas game before travelling to Turkey for the return leg. A daunting clash against Manchester City will follow immediately on the Sunday after that, and Rodgers’ men will have to make sure that continental football does not affecting their push for the fourth spot.