• Premier League

Rodgers plays down title talk

ESPN staff
August 25, 2012
Brendan Rodgers does not expect Liverpool to challenge for the Premier League this season © Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers has played down Roberto Mancini's claim that Liverpool are Premier League title challengers.

Mancini made the claim as he prepares to take his Manchester City side to Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Rodgers, who replaced Kenny Dalglish during the summer, has made it clear that there is plenty of work to do after the club finished eighth last season.

His ambition is to turn Liverpool into title contenders once again, but with his spending limited, the manager thinks it will take a while.

Asked if he thought Mancini was right to describe Liverpool as title contenders this season, Rodgers said: "Let's hope so! Listen, we've got a bit of work to do. There's absolutely no doubt about that.

"With all due respect, we're still playing catch-up, when you look at a lot of the squads that have been assembled over the last few years.

"But for us, it certainly won't be for the want of trying. The players have got a great focus, they've got an incredible attitude and they're very determined.

"They've got a great drive to make the supporters proud. So certainly we'll be fighting, and we hope that will be the case come the end of the season."

Rodgers turned down the opportunity to join Manchester City's coaching staff under Mancini in January 2010, shortly after being sacked by Reading. And he feels they will build on last season's title success under Mancini's guidance.

He added: "Manchester City have got that belief. And I think you'll see that even more this year. When you become the champions, it gives you that wee bit more confidence."

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