As the matches tick away and the end of the season nears with Liverpool still standing top of the table, it's becoming harder and harder not to look ahead. Not to look at the next two games or three games or four and keep the focus solely on just the first one on the horizon. For Brendan Rodgers, though, keeping that single-minded focus is his job—and he plans on doing his job.
"We never look too far ahead," he said at his pre-Norwich press conference. "That's key in order to manage expectancy. It doesn't matter about Chelsea, Crystal Palace or Newcastle—we have to do the job against Norwich. We focus on our performance level and that takes our mind off a lot of the other external factors and background noise that may come across your way."
That Liverpool are certain to start without the suspended Jordan Henderson and likely without the injured Daniel Sturridge makes that job more complicated, but having won their past ten and standing undefeated in the league in 2014, a high performance level and another victory will be expected. Even if Rodgers is doing his best to manage expectations.
"As the manager, it's the job," he continued. "You've got to manage expectations, it's part of the leadership role. We've never got too carried away. Around the training ground, we're very much focused on what we're doing. Look at our performance last weekend, everyone was looking at how we would fare against Manchester City—one of the great squads in Europe.
"For the first 45 minutes we were unplayable and that was against a group of top players that have scored a lot of goals this season. We showed in the other parts of the game our resilience and focus, and our concentration to win. That's what we've been working on on a daily basis."
Few would confuse Norwich's squad for one of the greats in Europe, but three points against them will be just as important to maintaining Liverpool's title challenge. Focus, resilience, concentration—and four more cup finals to go.