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Rodgers targets 23 points for top four finish

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Rodgers smiling again as Liverpool target a Champions League return
Rodgers smiling again as Liverpool target a Champions League return

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has set his side an ambitious points target as they look to secure a return to the Champions League by snaring a top four finish in the Premier League.

The Reds head into Monday night's tricky trip to Swansea five points behind fourth placed Manchester United, with the Anfield boss suggesting 74 points may be needed to claim Champions League football next season.

“We have 30 points to play for, so I am guessing it will be another 23 points,” claimed Rodgers. 

“That is how competitive it has been this year. We have won nine out of 11 in January and February, it has been a great run but now we have to be focused on these last 10 matches. Everything counts.

“We have to be aggressive in our game and now we have to nail it in the last 10. I know the players are focused on that.”

The return to fitness of skipper Steven Gerrard presents Rodgers with a real dilemma in his team selection at Swansea, with Liverpool thriving in the absence of their injured leader in recent weeks.

Yet Rodgers suggests the player set to join LA Galaxy at the end of this season could still be a key figure in his team in his final few weeks at the club.

“Everyone is waiting to see if Stevie comes into the team or not," added Rodgers. "What you have seen over my time here is that I rely on the team.

“The team, of course, has to have good players in it, but ultimately it is about the team and what is going to benefit and how we can get results as a team.

"I will repeat again the most important thing is Steven is back fit and we have Lucas Leiva coming back too.

“That will add to the competition for places and with one game a week, barring the cup game, then everyone is going to be fighting and being competitive about playing.”

“He still has big qualities that we will need between now and the end of the season but I don’t pick a team on whether I like someone or not. What I do know is that Stevie always puts the team first."