‘We expect to win now’ – Rodgers hails improved Liverpool ahead of Arsenal clash

The manager believes that the confidence running through his squad makes them capable of bettering any opponent as the Reds look to dent the Gunners’ title charge on Saturday

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted at the improved mentality at the club but says that the squad will respect table-toppers Arsenal.

The Anfield outfit led the division at Christmas for the first time since 2008-09, though inconsistent form since has seen them fall eight points behind Saturday’s opponents.

That season, under Rafael Benitez, the club came within four points of a first-ever Premier League title, with a run of 10 wins from their final 11 games, and Rodgers feels that the club have similar confidence now.

“I think the big change for us is that we expect to win now,” he told reporters. “We’re confident going into every game. When I first came in, the pressure to win was difficult for us.

“We expect it because of the name of the club and the size of the club but we were never that confident to consistently do it but now we go into every game expecting to win – and never more so than at Anfield.”

Liverpool have lost all three games against their title rivals – Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea – so far in 2013-14 and Rodgers has outlined how decisive the result of Saturday could be in the title race.

“There’s only 14 more games to go and every single game is critical and every team will look at the rivals and look if they can take points off them,” he added.

“We know that, if we win the game, we go to 50 points, five behind Arsenal and three behind the others, so for us it’s a big game. We go into it as we normally do – to concentrate on our performance level.

“These games are the opportunities which allow you to make even more of a statement. It’s a difficult game, we know that, but we go into it with big confidence allied with the support at Anfield.”

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