Brendan Rodgers anticipating Merseyside derby
By Football News
Brendan Rodgers is excited ahead of Liverpool's clash with Everton, but has insisted it is no more important than every other match.
The Liverpool manager goes into Sunday's game battling for sixth spot in the Premier League, and knows a win will move them just two points behind their local rivals with two games to go.
Rodgers acknowledged the importance of the match but stressed he didn't want to add any further significance to it, calling on his players to perform to the top of their capabilities and continue their recent run of good form.
"Every game is a test for us," he said.
"It's another game for us to show we have the qualities to compete. We've just got to maintain the standards that we've set in the second half of the season and, in particular, last week's performance.
"We know it's going to be a very difficult game but whether we win 5-0, 6-0 or 1-0, the objective will be to win."
Sunday's encounter, the 220th meeting between the sides, will be Rodgers' first home derby as manager of Liverpool and the atmosphere inside the stadium is something he is looking forward to, having been impressed during the reverse fixture in October.
"At Goodison Park it (the atmosphere) was brilliant," he said.
"Our supporters were really loud and supported the team, and the Everton supporters gave their team great backing," he continued.
"I am really looking forward to it and asking our crowd to be at the top of their game, and they are at Anfield which is brilliant."
Rodgers had a tough start to his tenure at Liverpool but they have turned things around in the second half of the season, and although there is an outside chance of European football next season he was quick to explain that his focus was on his side's overall progression rather than setting them specific targets.
"It's very important to finish as high as we possibly can," he added.
"We've got three games left and want to win every one - and we want to win the next game, which is the most important one."
The Northern Irishman was also keen to set out the club's position regarding the UEFA Fair Play League after they were linked to a potential European spot for their disciplinary record.
"We want to be in European football however it comes," he explained
"Obviously we'd prefer to go down the football route.
"The journey we had this year in the Europa League, all the players thoroughly enjoyed it. If we got the chance to do it again, for sure we would."