- Premier League
Rodgers aiming for second, not fourth
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes second place in the Premier League is attainable, after seeing his side overcome a difficult start to the season.
The Reds currently sit 10th in the current table with 22 points from 16 games, just four points off Tottenham in fourth. But, while qualifying for the Champions League would signify a successful campaign for the club, Rodgers is aiming even higher - seeing no reason why his side can't potentially supplant Manchester City in second in the table by the end of the campaign.
"They have been hammered left, right and centre by numbers of people," Rodgers said of his side. "When you are a club that is the size of Liverpool then that criticism comes.
"It is well documented, which is incredible really, but when you have won the titles and championships you have before that will come your way.
"You can see in their performances it hasn't affected them and, if anything, we have grown from that.
"Everyone has their opinion on Liverpool and I understand that because of the standards set by this club in the 1970s and 1980s.
"But for a club that has been very poor and disastrous by all accounts from other people we lie four points off top four.
"For me the ambition is to grow higher. We are 11 points off second and that can all turn around very quickly so you need to get consistency - and that is what we have at the minute."
Rodgers refused to respond to recent comments from the club's former sporting director, Damien Comolli, who defended his transfer activity while at the club.
Comolli was fired in early 2012, after transfers including Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing failed to bring the desired results.
Rodgers indicated another perceived flop, Joe Cole, may still have a future at the club - after scoring against former club West Ham in a win last weekend.
"I don't know what Damien said and it's none of my business," Rodgers said. "It was important for Joe to contribute. This season has been very difficult for him because he has been injured for the majority of it.
"The responsibility has always been with the players and if Joe continues to work how he has been when he gets the opportunity he has to take it.
"He works very hard at his game and when the chances come I know in his own mind he wants to take them and be effective for the team.
"That is the challenge for all the players. It is a challenge for us all to improve and we want to keep rising up the table."