Liverpool can win title says Rodgers as he signs new deal
Reds boss commits to Anfield and says that his side can challenge in Premier League and Europe
Brendan Rodgers has committed himself to Liverpool by signing a new "long-term" contract with the club. The 41-year-old Northern Irishman guided the Reds to second in the Premier League last season, their best finish for five years, and his reward is a contract extension so he can build on the success he's already achieved.
Rodgers was appointed manager in the summer of 2012, when Liverpool were struggling after the short-lived reigns of Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish. At the time there was some scepticism that such a young and inexperienced manager – he arrived at Anfield from Swansea City – possessed the right pedigree for a club of Liverpool's stature but Rodgers has proved his doubters wrong in the last 12 months.
Until a stumble in the last fortnight of the title race saw them drop points against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, Liverpool had been favourites to win their first top-flight title since 1990. By signing a new deal, Rodgers declared his intention to bring the Premier League crown to Merseyside next season. "Our dream and goal is to win the Barclays Premier League," he said. "That's what we want to do. We've shown this season that we can compete for that. With some new additions in the summer, we believe that we can fight again."
Liverpool will also appear in the Champions League for the first time since 2009-10 and Rodgers believes he has a squad capable of mounting a serious challenge in Europe next season. "We know that in the Champions League if we can perform well away from home, that in the home games, we're going to be hard to beat because of the supporters and the quality of the team," explained Rodgers.
Amazingly, Rogers will be the fifth longest-serving manager in the Premier League when it kicks off next season. Only Arsene Wenger of Arsenal, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, Newcastle's Alan Pardew and Nigel Pearson of newly-promoted Leicester City have been around for longer. However, the Anfield hierarchy believe Rodgers is the man for the long haul.
"We are very fortunate to have a hugely talented individual leading our football performance," ran a press statement released jointly by Liverpool's principal owner, John Henry, and club chairman, Tom Werner. "Brendan is at the heart of what we, as an ownership group, are trying to achieve on the pitch... [and] players and supporters have made it clear how important Brendan is to our success and so to have him commit to us for the long term is a great boost for everyone."
As to whether the club would be visiting the transfer market over the summer, Rodgers said that his was intention but there were no clues as to possible targets. "We're still working on signings, the staff behind the scenes, myself, the recruitment team... we're all working hard still in terms of looking to get players in," he said. "We need to strengthen up the squad and that's something that we're working hard to do over the next number of weeks." ·