Rodgers targets top six until January
Brendan Rodgers says Cup exit can prove positive for his side
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has tasked his Liverpool side with maintaining their position in the Premier League's top six positions until January at least.
Liverpool started the season with a flawless record until a draw at Swansea and a loss to Southampton dropped them behind rivals Chelsea, Spurs, Mancehster City and Arsenal.
After being knocked out of the Capital One Cup against Manchester United on Wednesday, Rodgers hopes the fewer fixtures will give them an edge over their Premier League opposition:
"Now we can only concentrate on the league up until Christmas.
"So we have to make sure we stay up in that top six in the league and keep fighting and hopefully we can reinforce in January."
Rodgers has experienced an injury crisis so far this season, with key players Daniel Agger, Philippe Coutinho, Glen Johnson and Aly Cissokho all sidelined. Because of his lack of option, Rodgers has had to play a makeshift side at times this season:
"I think the players have made an excellent start. We were flat and subdued at the weekend and we couldn't get going - part of that was because of the players we had available."
The Liverpool boss admits that playing a 3-5-2 formation against Manchester United was decision forced upon him, rather than a tactical one:
"It is something that has been forced upon us in terms of players that we have available," said the Northern Ireland international.
"I have never in my life played four centre-halves in any game and anyone who knows me and my work knows that is not how I operate.
"But when you have no choice that is what you have to do. I try to get as many attackers on the field as I can.
"I just felt that system (three at the back) suited the players we had and I thought the players suited the system well and we got numbers forward.
"If we have to play that system again for a period of time until players are fit - we obviously have to work on it more - but the players are comfortable in.
"It gives us three players to dominate midfield and two strikers up front (Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez) who are top strikers in the league and still keeps us secure at the back."
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light this weekend to face a managerless and winless Sunderland. A win could put Liverpool back on the top of the table, if other results go their way.