Brendan Rodgers enjoying title tilt
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players to remain calm and embrace the pressure after they moved within one point of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
The Reds, who last won the title in 1990, have emerged as surprise contenders this season and kept their hopes alive with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Wednesday night.
Rodgers said his side -- who have games against title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City next month -- must keep their focus in the remaining seven games of the season.
“It is just reinforcing about calmness,” he said after the victory at Anfield. “We reinforce to the players to dominate the ball. Our idea is to stay calm under pressure and it is important that they can think clearly under pressure.
“We have had a wonderful season so far but there is still a way to go. I felt in the second part of this season we would be stronger because of the nature of our game. There were long spells that we were very good at that but, as I said, as the season goes on we will embrace that pressure and enjoy it.”
Despite Liverpool’s impressive position, they could find themselves four points behind City if Manuel Pellegrini’s men win their two games in hand, and Rodgers -- like Blues boss Jose Mourinho -- acknowledges that it is their title to lose.
Rodgers added on BBC Sport: “It's up to other teams to lose, so we will keep working hard. I'm not playing it down, I don't play silly mind games. If City win their games, they win. It's simple maths.
“I'm concentrating on my team and Jose Mourinho is saying what I'm saying -- Manchester City have games in hand and the squad to win the title and the Champions League, Chelsea likewise, but we are enjoying being up there. We are second. I'm not going to say we are not in it because I'd be lying.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.