• Premier League

Rodgers: Reds can finish in top four

ESPN staff
August 15, 2013
Brendan Rodgers thinks Liverpool can finish in the top four © AP

Brendan Rodgers believes he has built a squad capable of ending Liverpool's four-year absence from the Champions League.

Having won the competition in 2005 and been finalists two years later, Liverpool have not played in the Champions League since December 2009, during Rafa Benitez's final season in charge.

Under Rodgers, the club finished seventh in last season's Premier League, 12 points off a top-four spot, as they failed to qualify for Europe altogether.

Rodgers has brought in four summer signings to strengthen his squad - goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, centre-back Kolo Toure, midfielder Luis Alberto and forward Iago Aspas - and hopes to add a fifth with the prospective £5 million capture of Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira.

Rodgers was thwarted in his attempts to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk, who instead moved to Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

But with Liverpool kicking off their Premier League campaign at home to Stoke on Saturday, Rodgers believes his side are well equipped to secure a top-four finish in 2013-14.

He said: "I think it's the measure for you. It will always be for any manager here. The measure is always the Champions League.

"But I believe we can have a real push this year. It's going to be very tough - even tougher, when you look at the clubs who are already in there.

"They've been in there for a number of years and reinforced their groups, so it's going to be a very, very tough ask.

"But I believe - with the mentality in our group, in our work, in our focus - that we'll be in with a chance this year."

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