Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge insists that securing fourth place in the Barclays Premier League has to remain the priority despite manager Brendan Rodgers suggesting second-placed Manchester City can be caught.
The fifth-placed Reds are only four points adrift of Manuel Pellegrini's stuttering side but Sturridge believes their focus has to be ensuring they have Champions League football again next season.
With that in mind, the visit of arch-rivals Manchester United, currently two points ahead in fourth, takes on even greater significance.
"It is important to secure fourth place and then from there look on," said the England international.
"To finish in the top four is realistic for us, it's what we're aiming to do, and if we can get higher than that then perfect.
"But finishing in the top four is the objective and that's the most important thing for us. It's not about aiming for anything other than that now.
"If we can finish in the top four, then we can push on and challenge for the title again next season.
"I think top four is definitely possible for us."
Swansea 0 Liverpool 1 player ratings
Swansea 0 Liverpool 1 player ratings
1/23 Lukasz Fabianski
Excellent save to prevent Coutinho from taking the lead in the second half. He was alert to everything Liverpool managed to get on target. Unfortunate to be beaten by Henderson's fortuitous rebounded effort. 6
2/23 Kyle Naughton
He didn’t utilise his pace as much as he should have done. It is usually expected that he charges forward but he had to hold back to monitor Coutinho and Moreno. 6
3/23 Jordi Amat
A little suspect at times. He gave the impression he was never 100 per cent comfortable. Uneasy when Liverpool broke through Coutinho. Unfortunate to see his clearance rebound off Henderson and into his own goal. 5
4/23 Ashley Williams
A good performance from the central defender. He stayed tight to Sturridge and rarely let the striker stride beyond him. 6
5/23 Neil Taylor
Penetrated the left wing well and took advantage of the fewer numbers in the Liverpool defence. Poor final ball. 6
6/23 Ki Sung-Yueng
A little hesitant going forward and was too slow to react once he was close to Mignolet’s goal. Passed the ball expertly, though. 7
7/23 Jack Cork
One of the most influential players on the pitch. He passed the ball extremely well but possibly should have backed himself to have a shot. 6
8/23 Jonjo Shelvey
Livened up in the second half. He found himself much more involved in his side’s attacking play while also ensuring that it was difficult for Lallana to get beyond him. 6
9/23 Gylfi Sigurdsson
Forced Mignolet into making a remarkable save to deny him in the first half. Lacked potency in the second half. 6
10/23 Bafetimbi Gomis
A constant nuisance to the Liverpool back three, particularly Skrtel who he tried to bully whenever the defender came close to him. Unfortunately for his side he lacked a quality finish. 6
11/23 Wayne Routledge
He didn’t get up the pitch high enough to cause the likes of Sakho and Skrtel too many problems. Without any space to run into his pace became a little redundant. Replaced by Montero on 72 minutes. 5
12/23 Simon Mignolet
Very quick to react to the threat posed by Gomis. His saves to deny the striker were crucial, particularly in the first half. Denied Sigurdsson excellently too. 7
13/23 Emre Can
A determined performance. No different to how he has played of late and Liverpool are now in a position where they can rely on him. 7
14/23 Martin Skrtel
Cleared away the danger well and stay composed throughout the match. 7
15/23 Mamadou Sakho
One of the better performers in Liverpool’s defence. Showed composure, strength and determination to get the better of Gomis. 7
16/23 Joe Allen
Defensively strong from the midfielder. He was arguably Liverpool’s most effective player. He constantly looked to feed Coutinho while at the same time halted the Swansea advances. 8
17/23 Jordan Henderson
Booked in the first half. He’s been on top form recently but against Swansea he gave the ball away too often. Fortunate with his goal but he’ll be happy to count it. 6
18/23 Adam Lallana
A passenger in this one. So often he is a threat but here he lacked potency and the pairing of Shelvey and Taylor dealt with him well. 6
19/23 Alberto Moreno
Booked early in the second half which meant he didn’t steam into challenges as much as he did before. Replaced by Gerrard on 63 minutes. 5
20/23 Philippe Coutinho
Made much more of an impact in the second as he started to move into space, which allowed him to get a number of shots away. 7
21/23 Raheem Sterling
Fast but a little ineffective after his booking. Still a menace, though. 6
22/23 Daniel Sturridge
He hasn’t been the same since he returned from injury and he showed that here. Missed a good opportunity to extend his side's lead at the end. 6
23/23 Steven Gerrard
Brought on for Moreno on 63 minutes. His experience proved effective and gave Liverpool more strength in midfield. 6
Sturridge spent five months out recovering from thigh and calf injuries but when he returned to the side at the end of January he found the team had come through a slump which virtually coincided with his absence.
The top four looked a long way off in mid-December when they were seven points off fourth place and not playing well but now they look like recreating something similar to last season's effort when they won 11 matches in a row on their way to second.
"The boys have fought back and we're where we are now, and that is testament to the hard work everyone has put in to get to where we are today," Sturridge told liverpoolfc.com.
"It (the formation) is working. Everyone is defending very well, Si Mignolet (goalkeeper) is doing extremely well also. It's great to see and long may it continue.
"In terms of how we go out there with a positive attitude, try to play our football, try to break down the opposition and create chances to score goals.
"Sometimes maybe we don't create as we did last season, but I feel that as long as we're winning games, that's all that matters."
Victory over United on Sunday would see Liverpool return to the top four for the first time since the opening weekend of the season and midfielder Adam Lallana believes that would be significant for the final two months of the campaign.
"Psychologically, it's massive for us, because if we win we go above United and we get a foot in the top four," he told talkSPORT.
"But it's not all decisive on this game, there are still another eight games after.
"There are constantly going to be twists and turns, I'm sure. Tottenham and Southampton are still in and around the fight as well, so they are going to want to be picking up points to make it almost three teams out of six getting into the top four."
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