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Rodgers plots fresh title charge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he can lead the club to a Premier League title -- perhaps as soon as this season.

Rodgers' side were in pole position for last season's title until Steven Gerrard's costly slip gifted Chelsea victory at Anfield, and when they then let a three-goal lead slip against Crystal Palace it allowed Manchester City to take the eventual honours.

The loss of Luis Suarez, sold to Barcelona after being banned from football for four months for biting an opponent while on World Cup duty with Uruguay, has many observers predicting a Reds regression this season. But the ever-upbeat Rodgers has no doubts.

"I wasn't lying on a sun lounger on a beach over the summer crying and fretting over the fact that we lost the league,'' he told the Sunday Mirror. "There is only an excitement and a belief inside the club that we can challenge again for the title this time.

"We proved last season that we can handle the pressure of a title run-in. I know people will point to the Chelsea and Crystal Palace games, but they should look instead at our last 14 games.

"Twelve wins, one draw, one defeat. That kind of form usually wins you the title. So I know we can cope with the pressure. What we didn't get was that wee bit of luck you need along the way.

"We just didn't get the breaks when we needed them most, but I believe that we will be back up there, challenging, and Liverpool Football Club is a very exciting place to be at this current time. Last season was a great step forward and now we must believe that we can go one better.

"If it doesn't happen this year, then it will happen soon. I really believe that because of what we're building at the club.''

Liverpool open their league campaign at home to Southampton on August 17.

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