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Rodgers confident of Liverpool title tilt

ESPN staff
June 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Brendan Rodgers insists Luis Suarez will be part of a Premier League title challenge if he remains at Liverpool © PA Photos
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has given his wantaway striker Luis Suarez some food for thought after claiming the squad he has assembled at Anfield is "ready to challenge" in next season's Premier League.

Suarez's latest comments insisting he is eager to leave Liverpool this summer make it increasingly difficult for the club to hang onto the Uruguayan, yet Rodgers is remaining upbeat after getting his transfer dealing done early this summer.

After his club missed out on signing American midfielder Clint Dempsey in the final hours of the summer transfer window last year, Rodgers has moved quickly to tie up deals for Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas and he is talking up his side's hopes of success next term.

"I'm not here to be comfortable, to sit and earn the money and just enjoy being Liverpool manager," he is quoted in the Daily Mirror.

"There's a pressure that comes with it and I believe we're in a much better place to challenge now. I think we can do it. I believe we have built a real good base this year.

"Of course, it will be a tough ask because, as we improve, other clubs will have masses more money to do so as well. But it's not my job to look for excuses, I have to find the solutions to try to push us in there and I believe we won't be too far away."

Rodgers went on to speak about the areas of his team that need to improve ahead of the new campaign, as he talked up the progress made in his first season at Anfield.

"What we showed last season was promise," he said. "There were moments of disappointment and moments of delight, but when I look at the reality of it we scored 47 goals the year before and this time got 71 and we hope to add to that.

"Defensively, for a team that was supposed to be very strong a year earlier, we only conceded three more goals. So in terms of numbers and performance wise we improved. Now I believe we will improve again and we have to because we want to sustain a challenge and aim higher every season.

"We need centre-halves and I'm looking to bring 20 more goals into the team, so I'm also looking at an offensive player to give us a real threat on goal and another attacking midfield player.

"We definitely need to do that, especially if we're going to put some young ones out on loan to gain experience. It's not easy when you can't make mistakes, but we want to keep the acceleration and pushing on so this is a very important window for us."

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