Brendan Rodgers admits that he will have to win a trophy to be considered a success at Liverpool following last season’s title heartbreak.
Liverpool achieved their aim of qualifying for the Champions League but suffered a late stumble in the Premier League title race and lost out to Manchester City on the final day.
Rodgers insists the pain of that experience will drive his players on to go one better this season, but has warned that they will be judged on the trophies they win.
‘I want a trophy this year,’ he said. ‘My sole aim in the first three years was to get us into the Champions League. I knew what it meant to the city and the supporters, so my drive in that period was to get us back.
‘Now I want the club to win the big trophies again. That’s what I said to the players. The expectancy this season is continual improvement. We want to win. To be successful is winning trophies.
‘I don’t think it puts pressure on us. We were ahead of schedule last year. I just think there is a real excitement, not pressure of last year. We know we can do it now. We embrace it and I am looking forward to this year.
‘We’ve got players who have had disappointments in their careers and picked themselves up again. We went so close but it is only the beginning for us. I’m super hungry to be a champion and succeed and in the short period of time we have shown we have the credentials to do that.
‘The Premier League is going to be as competitive as ever and we’ve got the belief behind us from the early stages of the season we can win it.’
Rodgers believes Liverpool can take heart from Manchester United’s success in the 1990s after Sir Alex Ferguson’s team lost out to Leeds in the race for the old First Division title.
‘If you look at the history of the winning teams they have always come close,’ he added. ‘The United team that won it in 1993, they came close in 1992 when they lost it to Leeds. They came back the following year and won it. That set up an era of winning for them. It has made us even more unified and stronger to be more successful in the future.’
There are concerns about how Liverpool will cope with the loss of Luis Suarez, but Rodgers refuted suggestions that they would be perceived as a selling club after agreeing to let the Uruguay striker join Barcelona for £75million.
‘Liverpool is not a selling club, that’s for sure,’ he said. ‘The big clubs lose the big players at some point. That’s reality. It’s not due to any lack of ambition. Sometimes youlose your best player and the key is planning your success beyond that.
‘Luis had his time here and has looked to move on. He will be in Spain for a time and then end up back in South America.
‘We’re in a really healthy position now. The conversations we’ve had with players and agents is showing the power of the club is back again.’ – Daily Mail