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Rodgers: "I'm Not Thinking of Europe"

A few of Liverpool's players may be talking European qualification again, but manager Brendan Rodgers has so far refused to be drawn into such dangerous daydreaming.

Clive Brunskill

Some of Liverpool's players may have taken Sunday's victory over Tottenham as an excuse to dive straight back into talk about the club's chances of European Qualification, but for manager Brendan Rodgers the message remains the same this week as it was last week: Worry about each match as it comes and count up the points when the season's done.

"I'm not thinking of Europe," he insisted after the dust had settled on his side's 3-2 victory at Anfield. "We know where we want to be, and we want to be challenging at the top end, but we'll just keep looking at the next game.

"We are at the business end of the season, it's the time to win games and narrow your focus on that. So we'll focus on Saturday. We'll keep collecting points and see where that takes us. We can play better than we did against Tottenham, but we showed character and resilience in beating a side from the top four. What is important is that we are growing as a group."

It's easy to understand how some might get carried away looking at Liverpool's final nine league games, a stretch that includes four of the bottom five—and with Liverpool having just played and beaten Wigan, the fifth side in that bottom five—and with only Chelsea and Everton amongst their opponents likely to challenge for European places.

However, given Liverpool's struggles with consistency earlier in the season, Rodgers' approach seems the far more prudent course. Liverpool may be playing well of late, but renewed talk of the top five or even top four that has begun in some quarters only seems to court disappointment.

It also seems to, at least at some level, take for granted that Liverpool not only can but will take maximum points against the likes of QPR, Reading, Aston Villa, and Southampton. The players can talk of not taking any opponent lightly, but once one starts looking past Liverpool's sixth-place standing to engage in Champions League dreaming the risk of treating victory as a foregone conclusion only grows.

Rodgers, thankfully, appears to still be on the right path. And hopefully for Liverpool fans he'll be able to keep his players' daydreams in check long enough to do the job they'll have to if those dreams are to have any chance of becoming reality.

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