Rodgers targets a strong finish

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will enter the summer confident of strengthening his squad.

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Rodgers: Is confident of building a dyna

Rodgers: Is confident of building a dyna

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will enter the summer confident of strengthening his squad following "brilliant" conversations with the club.

It has been a rollercoaster first season in charge for Rodgers that began abysmally in the league, has included shock cup exits to former club Swansea and especially Oldham, but has gradually gathered some momentum.

The Reds go into Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham at Anfield on the back of a run of five wins in their last six matches in all competitions.

But even then the one blip was a surprise 3-1 loss at Southampton that underlined Liverpool under Rodgers are still a work in progress.

In terms of much-needed European qualification, Liverpool are three points adrift of a Europa League place and seven off a spot in the Champions League.

Failure to reach either could alter the nature of future talks with John W Henry and Tom Werner about the funds required to take the club forward under Rodgers' leadership.

For now, Rodgers has been encouraged by what he has heard from the duo as he said: "We all know this year has been about building a base and setting us up for next season.

"As I predicted, as the season has gone on we've become stronger, but there is no doubt for us to go to the next level we are going to need reinforcements.

"On that front, the conversations I've had so far with the owners have been brilliant, very positive and forthcoming.

"Given that support, it's up to us now as a club to bring in the type of player who can really help us.

"If we can do that then we can put in a challenge next season right from the very beginning."

In terms of who will go and who will arrive, Rodgers admits he is still formulating his plans, with much still to be determined over the next few weeks.

"Players will look at themselves at the end of the season and ask if they have had as much game time as they wanted and whether there is a future for them at the club," added Rodgers.

"They'll have those conversations with me as well.

"As for bringing players in, it's about the availability of that player and whether we can afford him.

"This season we've clearly had to balance the books as well, but in terms of support, the board have been great.

"Further conversations this summer will be the same, and as I say, if we can get the players in to improve us we will have a good squad next year."

Rodgers concedes, in coming towards the end of his first season at the helm, there have been "disappointments", but also "delight and progress".

Rodgers appreciates such progress "has not been demonstrated in terms of trophies yet", and that he will stand or fall on his ability to win silverware.

"Next season will be a big one for us," said Rodgers.

"We've put a lot of groundwork in place this season, so for next season, with the reinforcements, we hope to kick on to the next level.

"In terms of being the manager of such a big club it's absolutely an honour to be here.

"When you're at a club like Liverpool it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and for me I'm hopefully grabbing that opportunity and I'll be here for a long time.

"But in the short term you need success, to show the club is improving.

"I was brought in to develop the club, not just the first team, and we are putting the foundations in, but we need success and ultimately that is what I'll be judged on."

Rodgers' only doubt for the clash with the Hammers is winger Raheem Sterling, who is struggling with a thigh injury.


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