Liverpool are on track to win the Premier League title but are still a work in progress, manager Brendan Rodgers said as his in-form side seek to close the gap at the top to one point by beating Sunderland on Wednesday.
Six consecutive league wins, in which they have scored 24 goals, have put Liverpool in sight of a first English title since 1990 and Rodgers has been walking the line between managing expectations and talking up his side's chances.
“We haven't won it for a long time and it may or may not be this year but there is no doubt we are on the right road to winning a title here,” Rodgers said in the Liverpool Echo.
“We are far from being perfect and Saturday's game at Cardiff showed that. While we are learning and improving we will hopefully continue to pick up points and see where it takes us.
“We still have a hell of a way to go to be near where I want us to be but we are certainly making strides and are on the right path.”
Liverpool have scored 82 league goals this season, six more than Manchester City, who are in third place and have three games in hand on leaders Chelsea.
Defending has been Liverpool's problem area this season and Rodgers admits finding the correct balance remains his biggest challenge, although he argues against the notion that his side concede too many sloppy goals.
“Even the best teams will concede goals,” he said.
“There's been various items thrown at the team. When I first came in, we didn't score enough goals, that's now flipped to we concede too many goals.
“We just concentrate on our work. My objective was to make us a more potent attacking force and the players have responded magnificently to the ideas we've been looking to implement.”
While the goals of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been grabbing the headlines, the form of skipper Steven Gerrard in midfield has been inspirational for the Reds.
Gerrard's commitment to the cause has resulted in nine yellow cards this season and one more before the April amnesty would leave him facing a two-match ban.
It is a worry for Rodgers but he trusts the 33-year-old to stay out of the referee's notebook.
“He has been unfortunate. He just has to be a bit more cautious but he is clever enough to get through that,” Rodgers said.
Experienced right back Glen Johnson, another of Liverpool's impressive performers this season, believes the Anfield club would be popular winners if they do capture the title.
“Nobody wants the same teams to be winning the title over and over again,” Johnson said.
“I think just to spice things up the neutrals would want to see us win it. They will be packing a punch for us.” – Reuters