sport

Rodgers upbeat for title push

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is confident they will not let last season's title heartbreak affect their challenge for the Premier League this season.

The Reds narrowly missed out on ending their 24-year wait for England's top prize when they were pipped to top spot by Manchester City in May.

It has been suggested Liverpool might struggle to recover from the disappointment of seeing the title slip out of their hands, but Rodgers insists the experience will prove to be motivation to secure success this season.

"Remembering that feeling, that's what drives you,\" said Rodgers. "The Chelsea game was the one. A draw even at Palace was alright.

"But if you look at the history of the winning teams they have always gone close. You look at the United team that won it in 1993, they came close in 1992 when they just lost it to Leeds.

"They came back the following year and won it. That set up an era of winning for them. They won the Champions League (in 1999) and they just missed out two years before.

"Part of the process of winning is being able to lose like we did. What it has done with this team and this group, it has made us even more unified and stronger to be more successful in the future.

"We have got players that have had disappointments in their career and picked themselves up again.

"For me there was no real hangover, I was just so proud of how we as a whole club got together last season. The supporters talking about making them dream and there is no negative in it for me.

"We went so close but it is only the beginning for us. I'm super hungry to be a champion and succeed and we have shown we have the credentials to do that.

"The Premier League is going to be as competitive as ever. There will be six odd teams who can challenge for it but we've reinforced the squad and we will go into it with even more belief with a group of young players who are hungry too.\"

Rodgers, who took over at Anfield in the summer of 2012, has set his sights on winning his trophy as Liverpool this season

"I want a trophy this year,\" he said. \"My sole aim in the first three years was to get us into the Champions League.

"I knew what it meant to the supporters, the city, the taxi drivers, the people, the businesses... so my drive in that period was to get us back. Now we're in it, I want the club to win the big trophies again.

"That's what I've said to the players. The expectancy this season is continual improvement. Can we go to the next level? We want to win.

"Our priority will be the Premier League but we want to do well in the Champions League too as it's a big competition."