Liverpool principal owner John Henry is being realistic in his expectations of new manager Brendan Rodgers and will not set him a target of Champions League qualification.

This time last year Henry, as lead figure for owners Fenway Sports Group, told then manager Kenny Dalglish the requirement was a top-four finish. So despite winning the club's first trophy for six years with victory over Cardiff in the Carling Cup - and being runners-up in the FA Cup - an eighth-place finish 17 points adrift of Tottenham cost the Scot his job.

No such demands will be put on Rodgers, at least not so early in his reign having moved from Swansea last month. Henry, who has seen the squad close up this week as they have been in Boston preparing for their pre-season tour of the United States, said: "We don't want to put any pressure on Brendan by saying you have got to make the Champions League this year."

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