• Premier League

Rodgers: Liverpool on track for top four

ESPN staff
May 13, 2013
Philippe Coutinho's swift adjustment to Premier League football has surprised Brendan Rodgers © PA Photos

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his squad are on course to mount a credible challenge for a place among the Premier League's top four next season.

Rodgers was full of praise for his side after their 3-1 win at Fulham, singling out Philippe Coutinho for praise for his supporting role in Daniel Sturridge's hat-trick.

And the Northern Irishman is adamant that the right additions to the squad this summer should ensure Liverpool are in the frame for Champions League football by the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

"I think we can have an exciting season next year," Rodgers said. "We're building towards that but we need some more [signings] this summer.

"If we can do that then we can look to make a serious sustainable challenge next season for the top four."

Rodgers saved particular praise for Coutinho, whose quick adjustment to life in England and the rough-and-tumble of the Premier League since his move from Inter Milan has impressed the manager.

"He has surprised me," Rodgers admitted. "He'd had 100 appearances before he came here for big clubs so even though he's only 20 I knew he had the temperament.

"For me it was going to be interesting to see how he'd cope with the physicality but he's got man strength.

"His body work is incredible with how he rolls the ball and sees passes. His comfort on the ball is amazing and fits in perfectly to what we are trying to do.

"We are trying to build a team of winners that are technically competent and he's got wonderful technique."

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