sport

Rodgers eyes Sunderland scalp

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers turned his attention to Wednesday night's visit of Sunderland after a 6-3 defeat of Cardiff clinched a fourth straight away victory.

Rodgers continues to straight-bat all talk of a possible first title since 1990, but the reality is that his free-scoring team have become major silverware contenders.

Luis Suarez's sixth Liverpool hat-trick in the win at Cardiff saw him equal Robbie Fowler's club record tally of 28 Premier League goals in a season, while a Martin Skrtel double and Daniel Sturridge's finish floored the relegation-threatened Welsh side.

"We are focusing on the immediate future," Rodgers said.

"The fans can believe and dream, and when you come to see your team play away from home and they score six goals, you've got every right to do that. They have been a big part of our success this year.

"I've got to say that I am really looking forward to the Sunderland game. It feels like we haven't played at home for ages.

"Wednesday will be a great night for us. We've now got five games left at Anfield, with three away from home. Anfield is a special place to play football, so for us, it's about the immediate future."

Liverpool did not have things all their own way at the Cardiff City Stadium as they twice trailed to goals by Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell, but there was no stopping them once Suarez, Sturridge and company started wreaking havoc.

"We don't work to just outscore teams; we work on our balance," Rodgers added. "We are certainly not a team that is not worried about defending, that's not the case at all.

"We were off the back of two clean sheets - which I take as much pride in - against two difficult teams, Southampton and Manchester United.

"We conceded too much space, but the key thing is how we respond and how we have grown over the last 18 months. There has been that resilience and confidence to know that we can get back in the game.

"We will analyse the other elements of the game that we can be better at. That will always be the case - you'll always look to improve.

"Look at our imagination and creativity. You sensed the crowd felt that every time we were in their half, we could score. That is a wonderful recognition of the type of team that we are."

Rodgers also paid tribute to Skrtel, who scored the second and third goals either side of half-time before Suarez inevitably hogged the headlines.

"Every team needs goals from everywhere on the pitch," he said. "That was one of the things I said at the beginning of the season. The defenders have to chip in.

"That's the sixth goal he (Skrtel) has scored this season. He is great at attacking the ball - he finishes like a striker. He has been a real stalwart for us this season."

Watch Liverpool v Sunderland on Sky Sports HD 1 on Wednesday, kick-off 20.00