Jose Enrique targets Champions League with Liverpool

 

Defender Jose Enrique believes Liverpool are good enough to secure Champions League qualification this season and re-establish themselves as one of Europe's top sides.

The Reds could move level with fourth-placed Chelsea with a win over Newcastle tonight.

And while this season has not been straightforward - drawing six of their nine home games and scoring just 21 times in the league - Enrique is encouraged by the progress being made.

"I think we can do better, I think we can be in the Champions League positions," said the summer signing who is set to face his former club.

"But the league is so hard because Manchester City and Manchester United are better than us.

"I think in the summer we started to sign players again and spend a lot of money and I think this club in the future will become one of the best again.

"I really enjoy it here because it is easy to play with the players that are here: players like Maxi Rodriguez, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

"When you have players like that around you it is easy to play with them and I really enjoy it. I am happy here."

The Spaniard had four good years in the north-east, one of which was spent in the second tier of English football after relegation in 2009.

And despite criticising the club for their lack of ambition after selling the likes of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, Enrique believes he paid his dues in full to the Magpies.

"I hope they (the fans) understand," said the 25-year-old.

"I gave 100% and no-one can say anything different.

"I played in the Championship for them when they dropped down because I thought it was my mistake too.

"I had some very good moments there. I wish them the best because they have amazing fans there and it is an amazing city.

"But you cannot say no when a team like Liverpool comes for you. We are maybe not in the best position now but it one of the best teams in Europe."

For the second successive match manager Kenny Dalglish faces one of his former sides, having drawn at home to Blackburn on Boxing Day.

The Scot has been impressed by the start they have made this season.

"They collected a lot of points early doors and I know it's tailed off a bit now but that's because they probably have had a harder run of fixtures than they did at the start of the season, but they are up there and have done fantastically well," he said.

"They were active in the transfer window and brought a few people in.

"Demba Ba would obviously be the one who has been the big success. They took a chance on him I would imagine after he failed a medical at Stoke.

"(Manager) Alan Pardew took that chance which was brave of him and he has been rewarded."

PA

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore