Liverpool targeting top-four finish

Brendan Rodgers want Champions League qualification this season, while he reiterated the club’s no-sale stance on Luis Suarez

Brendan Rodgers is confident that Liverpool are in a better position this season to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

After finishing seventh last term, Rodgers remains positive that continued stability throughout the club will enable them to perform to their full potential.

Four new players have arrived at the club since 2012-13 wrapped up as the Northern Irishman begins to shape his squad ahead of his second campaign in charge, and qualifying for Europe is his top priority.

“[Qualifying for the Champions League] is the measure of success here; it will always be for any manager here,” he told reporters. “The measure is always the Champions League. I believe we can have a real push this year.

“It’s going to be very tough, even tougher if you look at the clubs that are already in there and have been there for a number of years that have reinforced their group.

“It’s going to be a very tough ask – but I believe, with the mentality and focus in our group, we’ll be in with a chance this year.”

Liverpool begin their campaign without the suspended Luis Suarez – the striker was banned for 10 games for biting Branislav Ivanovic in April and still has six games of the ban to serve.

The Uruguayan has been linked with a move to Arsenal during pre-season but Rodgers maintained that he would not be leaving the club.

“From our perspective, there has been a standpoint within the club and myself, and that hasn’t changed,” he added.

“What I want to concentrate on is the players that are available for this weekend, so I won’t be speaking any more about Luis Suarez until he’s available.”

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