Gerrard says Liverpool will finish season in top 4
Liverpool will finish in the Premier League's top four next season and qualify for the Champions League under new coach Brendan Rodgers, according to captain Steven Gerrard.
Speaking during his team's U.S. tour, Gerrard told Friday's Liverpool Echo that despite finishing eighth last season, the priority is to gain a top four spot during the coming campaign.
''I think we will get in the top four. I am confident we will get it,'' Gerrard said. ''If we can play like we did in a lot of games last season, be clinical and take our chances, I think we will be high up in the table.''
The one certainty is that the midfielder does not want a repeat of last season's disappointment in the league.
''It was frustrating but if you look at the season as a whole, you can't make excuses for finishing eighth. It wasn't good enough,'' the England captain said. ''We are Liverpool, we can't finish eighth.''
As for his teammates, he added: ''The players have got to think how I think and use the hurt of what happened to make up for last year. That is the only way you can do it.''
Gerrard joined up with the Liverpool squad in Boston on Monday after enjoying an extended break to recover from the European Championship.
The midfielder is clearly enjoying his first training sessions under Rodgers, who is looking to introduce the slick passing style he brought to Swansea in the Premier League last season.
''In only my second training session here we were doing team shape and Brendan was telling players what he expects them to do movement wise,'' Gerrard said. ''Every time you speak to him you can't help but be impressed.''
He avoided any talk of Liverpool winning its 19th league title next season, but clearly had his eye on other trophies after the team won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final in 2011-12.
''I don't think a team has ever gone from eighth to first in one season,'' Gerrard said. ''The idea is to improve and have some fun along the way in the cup competitions like we did last year.''
Liverpool begins its Premier League campaign at West Bromwich Albion on Aug. 18.