Enrique Aspires to Top Four Despite Setbacks

Bryn Lennon

Despite setbacks against Stoke and Aston Vila that see Liverpool on pace for a meagre 50 points this season, Jose Enrique is still talking about fourth as though it's something Liverpool can realistically aspire to. It isn't.

"I thought after the penalty we were going to win the game but overall they played better than us and we didn't deserve the three points," said Jose Enrique, echoing the thoughts of many fans when he spoke to Liverpool's official website the day after a disheartening loss to Stoke City.

Enrique's own performance on Wednesday was far from convincing, and following a strong run of form in recent weeks it was also a touch surprising to see the fullback appear so ineffective. He wasn't alone on that front, though, and despite his ineffectiveness he was still far from the worst performer in a very shaky backline.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the night was that Liverpool's players and manager will have known exactly how Stoke planned on attacking them. Stoke may pose a tough, physical challenge, yet even given the troubles Tony Pulis' side have given Liverpool in recent seasons it was a shock to see how poorly equipped Rodgers' starters were to deal with what they knew was coming.

"We need more experience and need to show more character in these type of games," continued Enrique. "You can see we have quality players and we have a good squad, but we need to fight for every point we play for if we want to be in the top-four.

"We have to get a winning mentality going and we have to show what we are all about. We need to bounce back from this defeat and we need to go to QPR and win."

One would never expect to hear a player give up on a season that's only just reached its half way point, yet to hear Enrique still talking of fourth as a reasonable goal can't help but seem entirely separated from the reality of the situation—especially when over the past four years the lowest fourth placed finisher got there with 68 points.

With Liverpool currently on 25 points, achieving that would require title winning form the rest of the way. And that seems more than a touch unlikely. Certainly a win against QPR would be more enjoyable to watch than the sorts of whimpering defeats suffered against Stoke and Aston Villa in recent weeks, but it won't bring the club anywhere closer to realistic hopes of the top four.

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