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Rodgers: Liverpool ahead of schedule

ESPN staff
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The two faces of Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he didn't expect his Liverpool side to be challenging for the Champions League places until next season.

When he was appointed at Anfield in 2012, Rodgers believed it would take him three years to mould Liverpool into a team that could challenge for a top four spot in the Premier League.

Liverpool came seventh in Rodgers' first season, having also failed to finish in the top five in their past three campaigns. Principle owner John W. Henry told Rodgers he would show him patience in his bid to turn the club's fortunes around.

But Rodgers has admitted his side have progressed much quicker than he could have imagined, with Liverpool sitting in fourth place, just four points off leaders Chelsea in his second season in charge.

"When I spoke to the owners when I decided to come to Liverpool, I certainly wanted to be challenging for the Champions League by my third year at the club," Rodgers told talkSPORT.

"But I haven't been surprised by the players because I've seen how much they put into their game and I know the quality we have.

"I think we've probably moved ahead of where I thought we would be this season, some of our play has been exceptional, but there are still areas of the team that I feel we need to improve on.

"It's been a wonderful season, to be in our position with 11 games to go is fantastic, but there's still a lot of work to do."

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