Rodgers sets sights on 2nd-placed City

AIMING HIGH: Liverpool's Henderson (in red) scoring the winning goal during their Premier League match against Swansea City on Monday. Reds manager Rodgers is hoping that Manchester City's loss to Burnley over the weekend gives his team a chance to finish second.


    Mar 18, 2015

    Rodgers sets sights on 2nd-placed City


    LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers insisted that fourth place is not the height of his side's ambitions this season after they set up a perfectly poised Premier League showdown with Manchester United on Sunday.

    Jordan Henderson's fortuitous goal earned the Reds a 1-0 win at Swansea on Monday, as they moved within two points of Louis van Gaal's fourth-placed team.

    The Reds now know they can leapfrog their bitter rivals should they defeat the Red Devils at Anfield this weekend and, having racked up five successive top-flight victories, they certainly have momentum.

    They are also just four points off second-placed Manchester City, who suffered a shock loss against Burnley over the weekend, and Rodgers insisted it is not simply United in their sights.

    "We are looking to finish as high as we can. Everyone talks about fourth, but it's the same every year for me," said 42-year-old Rodgers.

    "We do the best that we can do and the Manchester City result over the weekend gives us an opportunity to finish second.

    "So our mentality, the run and confidence we have at the moment, we are just going to take that into every game and see where it takes us."

    In fact, Rodgers' side have not lost in the league since being defeated at Old Trafford in December, and the manager has pinpointed that game as the turning point in their campaign.

    "It is a different team with a different mentality now. We were struggling to find the solutions then," said the Northern Irishman.

    "There were lots of new players and we were nowhere near as consistent then. That was definitely the turning point for us because we saw enough in the game that day to show we were good enough to get the results going forward."

    Midfielder Henderson scored for a third successive Premier League game, yet there was more than a stroke of luck about his second-half winner after Swansea defender Jordi Amat's attempted clearance ricocheted off the onrushing Liverpool midfielder and looped over goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

    "From the outside looking in, it might have been deemed pressure but we can only control ourselves and know we have the capacity to win games," said Rodgers.

    "Our away record over the last two years is really, really strong and you see the resilience in the team and when we're not playing that well, we still have that organisation and resolve to keep a clean sheet.

    "The second half, we were much more fluid in our passing and movement and played the most part of the game in their half, and didn't have too many scares in the second half.

    "It's a great, great victory for us - it is a difficult place for us to come and we are very happy."