• Premier League

Rodgers: United won't land top players

ESPN staff
March 15, 2014
Brendan Rodgers: We want to be the best

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Manchester United that failure to qualify for the Champions League will lead to many top players refusing to move to Old Trafford.

Rodgers was speaking ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash between the two clubs, with Liverpool currently second in the table and United sixth. A win for Liverpool would leave United 14 points adrift of their bitter rivals on Merseyside, but even more importantly could see them as far as 12 points outside the top four with just nine games to play.

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That would make David Moyes' task of qualifying for the Champions League almost impossible in his first season at United and make the rebuilding job that is ahead of him and the club even more difficult, according to Rodgers.

"When you're not in the Champions League, it can get away from you very quickly," said Rodgers, who is looking to lead Liverpool back into Europe's top club competition for the first time since 2009. "This club [Liverpool] is worldwide, monumental, but we found it difficult because the best players want to be in the best competitions. Anyone will suffer when they're not in there."

Rodgers also upped the ante ahead of Sunday's showdown by saying that a Liverpool victory would end United's chances of finishing above them.

He added: "We are 11 points clear now, and if it goes to 14, they can't do it. Even 11 is going to be very tough because we are entering a period where we are stronger.

"If you look at the last ten games of last season, and the 28 games this - that's a season worth of games - we would be 12 points ahead of them over the course of that.

"We would have scored 91 goals and they would have scored 64 or something like that. This is a team of champions, United, and are renowned for real attacking intent. So for us to make that turnaround in that period shows the progress and work that has gone on.

"But I was never worried about Man United, I was only worried about Liverpool and us getting better. The players believe in it and the work has got them the rewards. You know when you're employed by Liverpool it is not to sit in seventh. You have to be up there and try to be the best.

"We have a long way to go but shown great potential to be in there. The players have a real feel, not an arrogance, they can go to United and play with confidence.

"We're second in the league on merit and have performed consistently for a long period of time -that makes us a very dangerous opponent."

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