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Rodgers eyes top four next season

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes he and the club are in a better place to mount a top-four challenge next season.

The Northern Irishman left Swansea to take over from Kenny Dalglish last summer and has endured an up and down first season at Anfield. Although the Reds will finish some way adrift of the European places they have bettered last season's points total with one game still to go in the Premier League and their form over the second half of the campaign has been encouraging.

"This year has provided a great learning curve for me and I look back and see that it was learning that I needed," the Reds manager told the Liverpool Echo.

Rodgers will now turn his attention to improving his squad over the summer ready for next season's attempt to qualify again for the Champions League.

"I knew the expectancy of the club but, going into next season, I am a much better prepared manager for that," he added.

"We want to make significant improvements next year in the points total because the reality is we are 30 points behind the leaders and 11 points behind the top four.

"But I've seen enough and, if we improve our mentality in the summer - by signing players who have that consistent winning mentality - we can then improve again, like we have done in the second half of the season.

"That's the job of the recruitment team and the club to identify those types of players.

"They might not always be the best players but what we need in the second year of this project is to find a great level of consistency. There is a process of getting into the top four and becoming champions and that is consistency.

"I've loved every minute of being here and the small steps of where we want to go. But now I want to make bigger steps."

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