"We are in a place where we are not happy, where we are in the table now is not good enough and we want to get higher. And the only way to get that is to get three points every week - or try to get three points every week.
"Even after the QPR victory, in the back of our heads the Stoke game was so bad. If you look at QPR alone it was a good win but we still have that Stoke game in our heads. If you play for a football club like this, you need to have the motivation every single week. And if you don't have that, then you shouldn't be here."
Daniel Agger interviews are uncommonly candid, so it's not particularly surprising to read his comments about where the club stands currently. Compared to recent fare coming out of the club, though, it's a stark contrast--nowhere does Agger mention fourth place, or how the manager's almost Spanish, or how training with the ball at his feet is so wonderfully novel.
Liverpool should not be happy, and while pointing to progress and improvements is important, it's also important to have a firm grasp of the fact that expectations have largely gone unmet for most of the season. It's not going to come from the manager, for better or worse, and many of the more vocal players in the squad either aren't willing to be direct, aren't asked, or get such comments edited out.
Agger's been a mainstay, though, and he's consistently reliable to speak in very frank terms about what's happening at the club. Willingness to acknowledge problems without gliding past them as inconsequential shouldn't stand out this much, but it's at least refreshing to get reacquainted with a perspective that's honest, especially from someone who's so committed to the club and its success.
The new year's going to bring challenges quickly, with visits to United, Arsenal, and City on tap over the next month, and if Liverpool can't find the consistency and motivation Agger mentions, hailing honest evaluations of disappointing results is going to be about as good as it gets.