- Premier League
'Liverpool must win a trophy to be considered a success'
Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool must win a trophy this season if they are to be considered successful.
Rodgers' side endured a painful end to last season's Premier League title race as they finished second to Manchester City on the final day, with late slip-ups against Chelsea and Crystal Palace surrendering their challenge for the crown.
Rodgers hails 'big talent' Balotelli
- Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli as the Liverpool manager continues to search for Luis Suarez's replacement.
- Rodgers is in the market for a new striker after a proposed move for Queens Park Rangers forward Loic Remy fell through due to a failed medical - and he thinks Balotelli has all the necessary attributes to be a leading striker.
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Despite the club earning a return to Champions League football and being ahead of schedule, Rodgers believes his side - now without the prolific Luis Suarez - will be judged on whether they achieve silverware in the new season.
"I want a trophy this year," Rodgers said. "My sole aim in the first three years was to get us into the Champions League. I knew what it meant to the city and the supporters, so my drive in that period was to get us back.
"Now I want the club to win the big trophies again. That's what I said to the players. The expectancy this season is continual improvement. We want to win. To be successful is winning trophies.
"I don't think it puts pressure on us. We were ahead of schedule last year. I just think there is a real excitement, not pressure of last year. We know we can do it now. We embrace it and I am looking forward to this year.
"We've got players who have had disappointments in their careers and picked themselves up again. We went so close but it is only the beginning for us. I'm super hungry to be a champion and succeed and in the short period of time we have shown we have the credentials to do that.
"The Premier League is going to be as competitive as ever and we've got the belief behind us from the early stages of the season we can win it."
Rodgers is convinced the pain of coming so close to winning the league will have a positive effect on his players and spur them on to one better next year - much like the Manchester United team that achieved the same in 1993 under Sir Alex Ferguson, having narrowly missed out to Leeds the previous year.
"Remembering that pain is absolutely what drives you. Remembering the Chelsea game, the Palace game wasn't even the one. The Chelsea game was the one," Rodgers said.
"I think that pain is a part of the process of winning - to be able to lose in the manner we did. What it has done with this team and this group, it has made us even more unified and stronger to be more successful in the future.
"If you look at the history of the winning teams they have always come close. The United team that won it in 1993, they came close in 1992 when they lost it to Leeds. They came back the following year and won it. That set up an era of winning for them. It has made us even more unified and stronger to be more successful in the future."