Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says he will be disappointed in the club fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Anfield club have recovered from a poor start to the season to find themselves in contention for a top four finish. A 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur left them just four points adrift of Southampton, but they still lie way down in seventh.
They are certainly the dark horses for the final Champions League spot, but Werner says it is of the utmost importance that Brendan Rodgers manages to meet this expectation. However, the chairman also recognises what a good job Rodgers has done to turn Liverpool's season around.
"It certainly is important to make top four but it’s important that we continue this positive momentum"
Credit where it's due
He told The Express: “I want to make sure I give great credit to Brendan and his coaching staff for what he has done. We have to look at not just the play each week, but the positive direction that is going on at the club.
“I don’t know if the word is critical – it certainly is important to make top four but it’s important that we continue this positive momentum.
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“We’ll all be disappointed if we don’t make top four but I’ll be disappointed if we don’t win the FA Cup for Steven Gerrard in his last year at the club.
“And not just for Steven but for our fans.
“It’s important that we continue to progress in the right direction.”
A big drop
Liverpool fans have had to cope with a new level of expectation after coming so close to a first Premier League title last season. The loss of Luis Suarez coupled with Daniel Sturridge's injury problems significantly reduced the fire power that rocketed them up the table.
“We were disappointed with the injury that Daniel Sturridge sustained so we obviously got off to a start that was not as felicitous as we wanted"
Werner says that he, along with owner John W Henry, understand the tough job Rodgers has had on his hands this season but believes they have finally turned a corner and can expect to be competitive again.
He said: "We are very pleased too with the progress the club has made in the last few weeks.
“We obviously had a very exciting season last year, but we knew it was a challenge always to replace not just the talents of Luis Suarez but that we had a number of players who were settling into life at Liverpool.
Turning a corner
“We were disappointed with the injury that Daniel Sturridge sustained so we obviously got off to a start that was not as felicitous as we wanted.
“However I think the team has really coalesced. I think Brendan’s attacking style of football is extremely entertaining to our fans and as we look at the table today – and I don’t really want to get too far ahead of ourselves - we are only five points behind third placed Manchester United and four points behind Southampton.
“So I think we are certainly competitive and I’m optimistic that the recent play of the team will continue.
Can they do it?
Liverpool have a lot of work to do if they are to finish in the top four but beating Tottenham has given them every chance. They still have to face Southampton and Arsenal away while they will also welcome Manchester United to Arsenal.
Winning all three will put them in an excellent position but they will need at least five points to stand any chance of making it.
Do Liverpool fans think finishing in the top four is realistic? Use the comment section below to tell us!