Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers took to the press this afternoon ahead of the club’s match with Southampton on Saturday. The club will be minus young standout Philippe Coutinho who underwent an operation following his injury against Swansea City and is expected to be out for at least the next six weeks.
Despite continued questions about what the club will do without Countinho and with Luis Suarez set to return to the first team during midweek when the Capital One Cup picks back up and the Reds play Manchester United yet again, the manager was keen to express that he feels there is much more to come from his side this season:
“A lot more. I think we have made a good start and people will talk that its only early stages, as will I, but these [criticisms and injuries] are still hurdles that you have to get over.
We are at ten points already, at the end of last season we finished with 61 points and we talked about those extra ten points that might have taken us into the Champions League. At this early stage we have gotten them, but I still believe the team has got much improvement to do because of the nature of what I have seen in the games and the potential I see in the players still to grow.
As I said, we get Luis [Suarez] back next week which is a world class signing coming back into the picture again. The attitude and where we have been in these opening games is excellent and as I said, we still have to go and sustain that, I am really happy with these early stages as we have shown this potential, but I believe that potential can grow even more.”
Rodgers would continue with his discussion and fielded a question debating if the club at this early place in the year would say they had a legitimate chance of making a title run, but the manager quickly rebuffed that the focus is only on the next game.
The Reds have made one of the best starts to a regular season that they have in recent memory and despite the loss of Coutinho, the club will look to other key players in the squad to make up that little bit of magic that is lost with the Brazilians imposed six week absence.
With Luis Suarez on the horizon of returing it is certainly interesting to wonder just how the squad will reshuffle to allow the Uruguayan back into the first team and whether or not Suarez or Sturridge will be the striker and who will be pushed out to the left wing.
Thomas is the Managing Editor of SWOL.co, follow him @socceratz.