Missing Europe could be a 'blessing', says Rodgers
By Football News
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits the club could be better off in the long-term if they miss out on a place in Europe this season.
The Reds currently sit in seventh place on the Premier League table, nine points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham and unsure what position will guarantee Europa League football with six games of the campaign left to play.
However, while the 40-year-old says that he wants to finish as high up the league as possible this year and that the fans love being involved on the continent, they may be able to focus all of their energy on a top-four push next season if they miss out this year.
"There are two arguments. As a club we want to be in there," Rodgers said on Thursday.
"We really enjoyed the European football this season after it had been missing for a year and I know the supporters love the travel.
"But you could argue that a season free of European football would give us a greater chance of finishing in a much higher position in the league - of competing for the top four which is a really difficult task with the teams up there and the finances involved.
"Our squad from the beginning of this season was small and we are gradually building that up.
"We would love to be in there and we want to finish as high as we possibly can, but it won't be the end of the world if we don't qualify for Europe. If it doesn't happen then it could end up being a blessing for us.
"It could allow us to have a real strong run at the league next year and that can then really springboard us for the years going forward.
"But ultimately we want a squad strong enough to be able to cope with European football as well as the domestic league and cups."