The Northern Irish manager said that he hopes his side can be in the top six of the Premier League at the turn of the year, when he will sign new players.
Liverpool slumped to a Capital One Cup exit at Manchester United last night, but it is clear that the Merseyside club’s priority this term is the Premier League.
The Anfielders started the campaign well with three wins, but a draw at Swansea and defeat to Southampton have derailed Liverpool’s strong start slightly.
After the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, where Luis Suarez returned to the first-team reckoning after serving a ten-match ban, Rodgers confessed that he was eager to further strengthen his contingent when given the chance in January.
“The players have made an excellent start. We were disappointed at the weekend, we were a bit flat and subdued, and just couldn't really get going,” the former Swansea chief stated.
“Part of that was because of the players we have available, but I know that the players I have give absolutely everything.
"Now we can only concentrate on the league through to Christmas. We have to make sure we stay up in the top six in the league and keep fighting. Hopefully we can reinforce again in January."
The fact that Liverpool obviously have the ambition to strengthen the squad and money available to spend will be a real point of confidence for the club’s fans. Over the last 12 months the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, Victor Moses, Iago Aspas and Kolo Toure have all been added to the squad, with further reinforcements seemingly planned.
Although any club welcomes new faces to strengthen the group, Rodgers’ main goal in the short term will be to maximise the potential of the players that he already has at his disposal. There are a number of positions that he is still to find the right formula, with certain players’ roles in proceedings also yet to be determined.
The side’s best formation is still a point of contention, with Rodgers alternating between 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2. In central defence an overabundance of options would suggest that three at the back makes more sense, and he will need to decide who out of Toure, Sakho, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel he will play regularly.
In attack the reintroduction of Suarez will certainly be a boost for the side, but the Uruguayan’s starting position needs to be determined to get the best out of others. Daniel Sturridge has started the campaign well but looked ineffective last night against United with Suarez alongside him.
Talk of January signings will dominate the press, but for Liverpool the most important thing in the short term is bucking the trend of three games without victory when they take on Sunderland this weekend.
image: © Bernard C