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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rodgers: Liverpool want title for the 96

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool's title challenge is being inspired by the drive to honour the memory of the 96 fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough.

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His team reclaimed top spot in the Premier League from Chelsea with a 2-1 victory at West Ham on Sunday and are in impressive form ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Manchester City.

The win was Liverpool's ninth in succession and, as the Reds prepare to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy that claimed 96 lives next weekend, Rodgers said he was hoping to honour the victims.

“As a manager, I know coming into the football club there are 96 people in the sky that will always be supporting this team,” he said on the club’s official website.

“We want to do it for the great support and the football family of Liverpool. If we're to achieve anything this year, certainly they will always be in our thoughts -- the 96 in the sky and the families that go with them.”

Liverpool are two points clear of Chelsea and four ahead of City with five games remaining, but Manuel Pellegrini’s men have two games in hand.

Rodgers has repeated his claim that his players are taking a "fearless mentality" into their run-in despite the desperation that may be felt by fans who want to see an end to the club's 24-year wait without a league title.

He insists Liverpool remain the underdogs.

“There's a number of great teams in this league, big clubs with titles under their belts in the last 10 years,” Rodgers said. “We're fighting them.

“Manchester City are strong and have every component to do well. They've spent money and what they've done is fantastic. They're a wonderful club and they've invested well in top players. They'll be looking to come to Anfield and get a result.

“We're embracing whatever pressure is supposed to be and enjoying our football. There's no nerves. Nine games in a row at this level is incredible.”

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