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Saturday 21 April 2018

Rodgers: Reds still on course for a top-four finish

CONFIDENT: Brendan Rodgers
CONFIDENT: Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side remain on course for a return to the Champions League.

The Reds boss said last weekend's defeat at leaders Arsenal, when they were second best for most of the game, had by no means derailed their progress towards securing a top-four slot.

After 10 matches, which is the yardstick when Rodgers said a judgement could be made on the credentials of his side, they have 20 points and are third only on goal difference behind Chelsea.

Rodgers knows maintaining that ratio for the remainder of the season would get the Merseysiders back into the Champions League for the first time since they finished second in the 2008-09 campaign.

"If you look at where we're at, if you're averaging two points a game, you would like to think you would get into the Champions League," said the Reds boss ahead of this afternoon's visit of struggling Fulham.

"If we can get another three points – which we'll be fighting hard for – that would take us above that. We're just treating every game as an important game for us in our quest this year. We just need to keep focusing and keep our concentration.

PLATFORM

"We've built a platform this year, but we have to keep pushing and moving forward or else it counts for nothing."

Rodgers accepts the defeat by the Gunners showed him where his side need to get better if they are to remain consistent, particularly in the big matches.

"We didn't play to our maximum but we still could have had something from it. We're just looking to grow and improve our level in every aspect."

What will help Liverpool to bounce back quickly is the return of playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who played the second half at the Emirates Stadium after more than six weeks out following a shoulder operation.

"We've got some players coming back now, like young Philippe Coutinho. This is a player that has got a high level of technical ability and a strong personality," said Rodgers.

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