Brendan Rodgers: Failure to qualify for Europe may be blessing in disguise

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers feels that missing out on Europe may actually benefit his side, as they aim to challenge for a Champions League place next season.

The Reds currently find themselves seventh in the league, with qualification for Europe looking unlikely as they trail fifth placed Arsenal by seven points, with only six games remaining.

And despite Rodgers refusing to give up on the fight for a Europa League place, he has admitted that if his side does fall short then it is not the end of the world, as it means they will be able to focus solely on domestic action in 2013/14.

Liverpool have already played 52 games in all competitions this season and the Northern Irishman knows that this has been a strain on the small squad that he has at his disposal.

Therefore if they do fail to qualify for Europe, he thinks it may his squad to compete for a place in the top four next season as that is the club’s main priority, after a four year absence from Europe’s elite competition.

According to the Liverpool Echo Rodgers said: “There are two arguments,” as a club we want to be in there. We really enjoyed the European football this season after it had been missing for a year and I know the supporters love the travel.

“But you could argue that a season free of European football would give us a greater chance of finishing in a much higher position in the league – of competing for the top four which is a really difficult task with the teams up there and the finances involved.

“Our squad from the beginning of this season was small and we are gradually building that up.

“We would love to be in there and we want to finish as high as we possibly can, but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t qualify for Europe. If it doesn’t happen then it could end up being a blessing for us.

“It could allow us to have a real strong run at the league next year and that can then really springboard us for the years going forward.

“But ultimately we want a squad strong enough to be able to cope with European football as well as the domestic league and cups.”

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