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Mar 20, 2014

Rodgers 'couldn't think' of leaving Reds

Former Liverpool star Steve Nicol was once on the fence about Liverpool's title chances, now he's on the bandwagon.

Brendan Rodgers has made it clear that he will be happy to sort out a new Liverpool contract -- by declaring that he cannot imagine managing another club.

Brendan Rodgers says he feels at home at Anfield.

Usher: Rodgers' next move
Jolly: Smashing glass ceiling
Kelly: Defending the fall guys

Rodgers' current deal runs out at the end of next season, but the club's American owners have yet to open talks over a new one.

Captain Steven Gerrard said earlier this week that principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner should start negotiations as soon as possible to hang on to their manager.

But those talks are likely to wait until the summer, with Rodgers preferring to focus for now on Liverpool's challenge at the top end of the Premier League.

The Reds travel to relegation-threatened Cardiff on Saturday lying four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

That is a significant jump for a club who had just finished eighth when Rodgers arrived at Anfield in June 2012, and who won only three of his first 14 league games in charge last season.

The manager says that the progress made at Anfield over the past 21 months is a major reason for wanting to remain at the club beyond the end of his current three-year contract.

He said: "I think that we're probably a year ahead of schedule in terms of where we're at. But I'm not surprised by that, because I've seen the focus of the players, and how hard they've worked on a daily basis.

"I think it was only a case of how much time it was going to take to implement the ideas. We had a difficult start, not in terms of performances, but more in terms of results.

"But gradually, we've got better, and I feel really at home here now. I couldn't think of being anywhere else. It's a wonderful football club, and I hope that as time goes on and the ideas are implemented even more and become second nature, then we'll continue to get the results and win."

Rodgers said he was flattered by the comments of Gerrard, who described his one-to-one management skills as "the best I have known."

The 33-year-old midfielder has played under five managers during his 15-and-a-half-year first-team career at Anfield -- Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers.

He currently plays under Hodgson for England, having previously served Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello.

Rodgers said: "It gives me happiness that the captain, who is an iconic figure at this club and has worked with so many great managers, would say those words. But there'll be no individualism in this final part of the season. The focus can only be on the club and the team.

"As the manager, you're aiming to earn the respect of the players. You don't necessarily need to be liked. You just have to earn their respect -- with your behaviour and your work -- and ultimately the respect of the supporters.

"And I hope that both are happy with the direction that we're heading in, but there's still a long way to go."

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