Liverpool have been on one heck of a tear of late, and with thumping victories over Everton and Arsenal, and yesterday's late charge to beat Fulham away, the fans have grown excited. Why? Because suddenly Liverpool are just four points out of first place, and a potential title run suddenly seems like a real possibility.
While it's fun to dream on such a thing, you start to know it could be true when the manager starts talking about it as a real possibility.
"We're going to keep pushing," said Rodgers. "We've shown enough times we're a very good side. We're chasing and there are other teams still ahead of us, so we'll need some of them to drop points, but we know we still have City and Chelsea to play at home.
"This was a very important win for us, coming after the game at the weekend when we'd been outstanding [in beating Arsenal 5-1]. We had to show different qualities tonight: character, togetherness as a group, as we kept pushing to the end.
"There's still a long way to go, 12 games, but you've seen the development of the team in terms of character and focus out there. We had to dig deep. There's great character there and the belief in what we're doing is very high."
- source: The Guardian
Hearing Rodgers talk about it makes a possible title run seem very real all of a sudden. That makes it both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.
Liverpool still have a long ways to go in this race. March and April will be brutal months, with both Manchester City and Chelsea coming to Anfield for potential title race six-pointers, and away matches to Southampton and Manchester United thrown in just for giggles. Their competition in this sprint to the finish have tough schedules of their own, though, and extra fixture congestion from the Champions League to boot.
This season is going to get crazy all the way down to the finish. After the last several years saw Liverpool's competitive part of the season ended well before the calendar turned to May, it will be a blessing to see meaningful matches all the way down to the bitter end. Though it will also be incredibly nerve-wracking, so stock up on antacids.
On a lighter note, Rodgers also took a chance to poke at his old mentor Jose Mourinho a little bit, when he was asked about Mourinho's "title race horses" comment earlier this week:
"I don't do all that horse stuff, José is very good at all that sort of thing. Maybe we're the chihuahuas that run in between the horses' legs. I don't know."
Chihuauhas? Oh my god. I love you forever just for that, Brendan.