Brendan Rodgers says turning Liverpool around is a 'monumental challenge'
The Reds manager feels he is making progress at Anfield
Friday 17 May 2013
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his first season in charge has been a learning curve he needed to fully comprehend the “monumental challenge” ahead of him.
The Reds boss has made numerous changes on and off the pitch and learned some valuable lessons since being appointed as Kenny Dalglish's successor last June.
That has led to an up-and-down campaign which will see the inconsistent Reds finish seventh irrespective of their result against QPR on Sunday at the conclusion of the Barclays Premier League season.
But while Rodgers accepts he possibly did not fully appreciate what was required when he took over he is already looking to next season with greater confidence.
"This has been a great learning curve for me this season. I probably needed it this year," he said.
"I've been in football a long time and I came here because of the challenge to get Liverpool back into the top four.
"It is a monumental challenge but it is the reason I came.
"I knew it was a big ask but it is not until you come in you really understand the total task of what needs to be achieved.
"This is a footballing institution, a worldwide football club, and you are not only managing the on-field stuff you are managing a community here and that is something I am very proud to do.
"I have needed this year to learn the real depths of this club, everything that needs to be done, and I think come the summer we will be in a much better place to put in a sustainable challenge at the top of the table.
"This season will have been a disappointing one for supporters in terms of trophies for them but they will have seen progress."
One of the harsher lessons Rodgers had to learn very quickly related to transfer activity.
As the clock ticked down towards the deadline in August he allowed Andy Carroll to go on loan to West Ham in the belief the club would tie up a deal for Clint Dempsey.
However, a disagreement over the fee, with owners Fenway Sports Group not keen to pay £6million for a then 29-year-old, saw the move collapse and the United States international instead head to Tottenham from Fulham.
With no suitable replacement lined up Rodgers went into the first half of the season with only one senior striker in Luis Suarez and, although the Uruguay international did his best to keep the side afloat, a lack of supplementary firepower meant the side suffered.
Changes to the recruitment team were made and January reinforcements in the form of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho and results improved.
Having strengthened his scouting network even further since then, Rodgers believes Liverpool are in much stronger position heading into this summer's window.
But he knows they have to be as they cannot afford to waste what limited budget - believed to be about £20million plus anything he raises from sales - he has.
"It is a different club in terms of that. There is a lot more cohesion within all departments at the club," he added.
"That process just started after the (summer) window and we saw the benefits of that over the course of January.
"The scouts are doing a terrific job: they are leaving no stone unturned in order to get us the players we need to improve.
"There are no bids in for anyone yet but there is a lot of work going on off the field.
"We don't have money to waste, we really have to make sure we are getting the right types of players in.
"If we can do that we can kick on again but the start point is much better."
The future of striker Carroll will be near the top of Rodgers' agenda as soon as the season has finished.
He has been recalled to the England squad on the back of some good performances at West Ham but the Reds boss has to make a decision on the big frontman.
"Under Big Sam (Allardyce) he has done very well. We will assess that at the end of the season and take it from there," he said.
"It has been good to see the bit of form he has had towards the end of the season.
"It is a bit similar to last season where he showed a bit of form for Liverpool late on.
"The idea was for Andy to go out and get games. He wanted to play and not be sat here playing second fiddle to anyone and I commend that."
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