Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he doesn’t expect Liverpool to finish in the Premier League’s top four – even next season.
Anfield chief Rodgers believes there is now too much competition for Liverpool to expect a Champions League spot at the end of each campaign.
He told the official club website: “It’s a difficult ask. Look at Tottenham – they finished in the top four last year and spent a lot of money to try and retain their place there.
“Chelsea, who were the Champions League winners, finished sixth last season."
The Reds have been inconsistent this term, with defence being a particular issue, but there is still a chance the Merseyside club can secure Europa League football – if they beat Everton at the weekend.
Liverpool currently trail their neighbours by five points and cannot afford to lose the match if they have top six aspirations.
Rodgers said: “We want to keep growing and we want to look to win trophies. Next year the important factor is getting consistency in the league in order to move up the table and challenge for the top-four positions.
“If we can do that, then that will keep us pushing on."
Failing to secure European football this season could however have wider implications for Liverpool, as they fight to hang on to key man Luis Suarez.
The Uruguyuan has been the topic of intense transfer speculation in recent weeks after another impressive campaign, blighted by controversy.