Brendan Rodgers believes that his current Liverpool side could have won the Champions League if they had not been knocked out in December.
Rodgers’ Reds picked up just five points in the group stages of the competition – failing to beat Basel at home in their final, must-win match – but after winning six of their last ten Premier League games, the Northern Irishman is bullish once again.
Liverpool now face Besiktas in the Europa League with Rodgers now suggesting that they would have competed in the knock-out stages of the premier competition.
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"You just never know with the Champions League because sometimes it’s not the best teams that win it. I think if you’re in a cup competition that’s sometimes the case, especially in those big European competitions," said Rodgers.
"I felt if we were maybe the team we had (last year) or were further down the road with this team then we’d have had a chance with the Champions League, that’s the reality.
"If we were in it now with this group and the confidence we’re showing and the way of working then we would have had a chance. Of course there’s maybe other teams that are more experienced and better equipped with their squads.
"Certainly it wasn’t the real Liverpool earlier on in the season. I was obviously hopeful that we could still be in the Champions League at this stage but it’s not to be.
"We’re still in a very good competition, we’ll attack these games in this competition like we have those in the last few months.
"We’d put in two years of work building to get through to that stage and our objectives from me personally were very clear, we wanted to make the Champions League.
"Of course to arrive in there not having the team and the way of working to go and play that way, it was frustrating.
"But it’s a great learning curve for us and I hope we can be in it for other years to come consistently and hopefully we can be a lot more stable and consistent with our performance."