Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool will be ready for title challenge next season
Brendan Rodgers talks up Liverpool's chances of winning the title next season
Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will be ready to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
The Reds are in eighth place and a mammoth 17 points behind league leaders Chelsea after losing seven of their opening 22 top-flight games so far this term.
“Come the summer time that period of integration should be complete and we can challenge for the title like we did last season
Liverpool are making good progress in the domestic cup competitions, though, reaching the League Cup semi-final and facing Bolton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
Whilst Rodgers emphasised Liverpool’s focus will be on winning silverware this season, the Northern Irishman is already eyeing a title bid next season.
“The reality for us this season was, could we finish in the top four? With so many changes we weren’t going to challenge for the league,” Rodgers told his pre-match media conference on Thursday.
“We were looking to win a trophy and then come next summer we will be ready to challenge for the title again.
“This year was about getting into the top four, trying to minimise the impact of so many new signings, giving them time to develop and target a trophy in the cup competitions.
“Emre Can, Mamadou Sakho, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Alberto Moreno, Javier Manquillo, Adam Lallana – all players who still have a lot to develop.
“The squad is looking exciting but needs that time to evolve.
“If we can get success in a cup competition this year it will provide greater motivation and stimulation for them to stay together and perform.
“Along the way you have to bring in ready-made quality to help their growth.
“Come the summer time that period of integration should be complete and we can challenge for the title like we did last season.”
Liverpool finished two points behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season, throwing away their lead by dropping points against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
The Reds spent over £100m on new signings in the summer transfer window, but £16m striker Mario Balotelli has struggled to fill the void left by Luis Suarez.
Liverpool face West Ham United at Anfield in their next Premier League outing on 31 January.