Rodgers: We might struggle to sign top players

SoccerBy Sunday World
Alarm bells ringing for Rodgers at Liverpool
Alarm bells ringing for Rodgers at Liverpool

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts missing out on the Champions League may make it difficult for his club to recruit top-quality players this summer.

The Reds lost at home to Manchester United before the international break and then went down 4-1 at Arsenal on Saturday to leave them seven points off the top four.

"Most players want to be in the Champions League, but I think also that Liverpool is a great club," accepts the Liverpool manager.

"I said that before I came into the job, and it is been even more rubber-stamped now that I have been here for two-and-a-half-years.

"Liverpool is a phenomenal club that players want to play for, but, of course, players want to play at the top level of the game and if you are not in the Champions League it makes it difficult for you.

"We know that, but we just have to continue to fight in order to be a stable club in there - and we will continue to do that.

"We want to be in the Champions League, that is important and it is key for us, but it is highly unlikely this year.

"I wouldn't expect the others to slip up, then add to that the growing number (of players) we have got unavailable and I think it will make it very, very difficult."

Those comments are consistent with the line Rodgers took as he reflected on Manchester United's failure to qualify for the Champions League last season as he stated: 

Rodgers maintains the hard work must continue to get Liverpool back into the battle for honours, with his side set to face Blackburn in an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Ewood Park on Wednesday.

"We always felt this year was going to be difficult, that was the reality of it," he said.

"Our run last year nearly brought us the title. We lost a world-class player (Luis Suarez) and lots of other developments that happened within the club.

"But it is frustrating that we got ourselves in a position over the last three months, very close, to then come up short in the past two games.

"However, I look at Arsenal and their bench, the players, the world-class players on the field with big talent and it shows the continual work we have to do."

Rodgers added: "It is going to be a little like this, until we become more stable, we have got young players who are growing, getting more experience and then hopefully there will be a period where we qualify again, but we don't give up. We will fight right to the end.

"Obviously the FA Cup is a priority for us, but there have been lots of positives from it, looking at players' development, seeing players grow, it has been good.

"We aim to finish strongly and we have an obligation to represent the supporters in the last seven games, and in the FA Cup, to finish as well as we can."

Meanwhile, reports in the Monday newspapers suggest Rodgers is facing a dressing room revolt from his players, after he accused them of not playing for him at Arsenal on Saturday.