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Rodgers: "My Job is to Build the Club Like Shankly Did"

With the season winding down, Brendan Rodgers spent time reflecting on how things started for him at Liverpool and where he hopes to eventually take the club, setting a goal no less lofty than replicating the success of Bill Shankly.

Chris Brunskill

With the season winding down, manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted his first summer at Liverpool Football Club didn't go quite as planned. However, after seeing the window close in August with Andy Carroll departing and the promised replacements never arriving, January quickly saw those failings rectified.

"We would have liked to bring in a few more players in the summer but we didn't," Rodgers told Yahoo! Sports. "The group were admirable with how they coped in that period because we had a lot of games. We knew we had to bring in reinforcements in January and the board worked superbly to get those players.

"We are hopeful that come the summer we can make more additions that will take us on to the next level. The business we did in January however was excellent and that's a great credit to the club."

Fans will hope any new arrivals this summer follow in the footsteps of January's double swoop for Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho—and needless to say Rodgers will, too. And with Rodgers' record of going after players he's worked with in the past, many will be expecting a list of potential signings with connections to him from his days at Swansea and Chelsea.

"I've known Daniel for a long time, since his early teens, so I've been able to follow his progress closely," continued Rodgers, adding Sturridge to Joe Allen and Fabio Borini as players the manager has brought in in part because of a past relationship. It's a revelation that comes as a surprise given Sturridge moved to Chelsea after Rodgers had already left to manage Watford.

"There had been talk for some time about Daniel coming to the club [in the summer]," he added, "but we needed to be sure he was going to be the right fit for what we required. He has settled in very well, but he still has lots of aspects of his game to work on in order to achieve what he wants to and to allow him to make the kind of impact that we want."

Even if Sturridge must now be counted as yet another player Rodgers had previous experience with when he arrived at the club, the singing of Philippe Coutinho in January at least showed the manager is able to cast a slightly wider net than his other transfers since arriving at Liverpool might suggest.

"He might be slight in stature but he's still got real power and mental strength too, plus he's a wonderful technician," he said of his other January signing. "I don't think that there is any question that he can cope with the physical demands. He's a Brazilian boy so as well as all the technique, skill and flair; you also find that they are tough.

"There haven't been too many Brazilians that have come into this country and have not succeeded. They tend to be robust and when you mix that with their technical and tactical qualities, I think that a player like Philippe will be a great addition for us."

As for Rodgers' ultimate goal, he isn't shy to set the bar high. Bill Shankly high, even. And one would imagine he will most certainly need a few more signings as successful as his last two if he's to have any hope of reaching such lofty heights and returning Liverpool to preeminence in England and Europe.

"For someone like me," he concluded, "my job is to build the club again, like Bill Shankly did very successfully and that set up the many successful eras that everyone remembers Liverpool for. That's what I'm trying to replicate and it's a huge challenge, because the club is an institution, but it is a challenge that I've enjoyed every minute of and all the staff and players have also.

"I've seen real progress this season and I would expect us to continue that over the next couple of years."

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