Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that his side are already capable of playing in the Champions League.

The Reds haven't been in the elite European competition since the 2009/10 season but are on course for a return as they already occupy fourth spot in the Premier League.

A period of transition has stalled the Merseysiders in recent years and they have endured a tough few years.

But now the club finally look to be back on an upwards curve following Rodgers' appointment from Swansea City at the beginning of last year.

"I think we have shown in our performance level that we are as good as any of the English sides this season," Rodgers said to Liverpool's official website.

"We just need to do it over the next 12 games and prove it on the field. If we do that it will take us to [Champions League] level. It is a competition that this club has a wonderful history in. It's a level that we want to get back to.

"The first job is to consolidate our place in the top four. Once you're in there then you can look beyond that. Our ambitions are still further but we have to take it game by game.

"We just want to keep pushing. Over the course of these next 12 games, we will be prepared and ready to get maximum points. We know that will be difficult but we have real confidence at the moment in our game."

The Reds emphatically dispatched of title rivals Arsenal in League action at the start of the month with a 5-1 win but the Gunners had their revenge in the FA Cup by winning the fifth round tie 2-1.

Rodgers wasn't too disappointed with the result though, and he claimed Arsene Wenger was full of praise.

"Our performances and results have shown that we can compete," continued Rodgers.

"Even in the cup game last week you look at the reaction from Arsenal. You could sense that they felt they were playing against a very good side.

"I spoke to Arsene after the game. He and his staff said they felt we were the most dangerous attacking team they had played all season, which is a great compliment when you think of some of the games they have played in."

 Liverpool entertain Rodgers' former side Swansea City to Anfield on Sunday where the Reds will look to consolidate fourth spot with a win. 

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