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Thursday 14 December 2017

'pool relishing the run-in'

Rodgers says players looking forward to final 10 games of the season in top-four Premier bid

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he and his players are relishing the final 10 matches of the season.

A 2-0 victory over struggling Burnley courtesy of goals from Jordan Henderson, his second in as many games, and Daniel Sturridge kept up the pace in the race for the top four.

They remain three points off third-placed Arsenal and two behind Manchester United in fourth but, as the only unbeaten Premier League team since the turn of the year, the Reds are on a real roll.

STOOD

Liverpool have not lost in the last 12 league games - picking up 30 points from a possible 36 having won seven of the last eight with six clean sheets.

"Over the last three months the games have been coming thick and fast but the players have stood up to that and now we have 10 league games to go and it is a period of the season we will look forward to," said Rodgers.

"We have put ourselves in a very good position. At this moment in time we are at a good level and we will continue with that."

Rodgers praised the outstanding contributions of both Henderson and utility man Emre Can in recent weeks.

Of vice-captain Henderson, who is leading the side while Steven Gerrard recovers from a hamstring injury, he said: "He is improving all the time and as he matures even more tactically he will become even better. "He has always had athleticism, he is born with a natural gift to run, and tactically he is improving all the time and his passing is improving and he is becoming one of the real leaders of this team.

"It was a wonderful performance by him and the team in general.

"As good as the performance was at the weekend (a 2-1 win over Manchester City) this was equally as good."

On Can, who began the match as one of three centre-backs but, not for the first time in recent weeks, moved into midfield late in the second half. The Germany Under-21 international had a tough start to his first season in the Premier League but since coming into the team on St Stephen's Day, coincidentally at Burnley, has been nothing short of superb.

WORLD-CLASS

"I look at him and I think if you give him another couple of years he could play in any team in world football - that is how highly I rate him," added Rodgers.

"Whether he is central or wide you can see his football intelligence, he breaks though lines with his power and pace and he has great composure.

"The crowd love him because he does the dirty work as well. I really think he will develop into a real world-class player."

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