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Clarke: No big changes needed

Liverpool coach Steve Clarke believes suggestions the squad needs a major overhaul in the summer are wide of the mark.

Manager Kenny Dalglish's priorities are at least one winger, a left-back and a centre-back but arrivals for other positions are still a possibility. Some reports have claimed the post-season clear-out could stretch into double figures, with a similar number coming in, but Clarke does not reckon it will require as much surgery as that.

''We have a decent squad here, a lot of good players who have shown that for us,'' said the Scot. ''If we can find two or three players that can add to the squad then that is what we should do. If we can't find the right players to improve us at the right time then I think we have enough to keep us moving forward.

''We've also got the young players coming through - that has been a big plus for everyone at the club this season. If we can continue with the nucleus of the established players we have and keep adding one or two kids and then maybe improve one or two in the summer.''

Clarke is confident Liverpool will be able to mount a challenge for Champions League qualification next season after witnessing the progress at Anfield in the last five months.

''In the short time we have been here I think we have shown a good working relationship,'' Clarke said of the job he Dalglish and assistant manager Sammy Lee have done in lifting the club from 12th to sixth. ''The club feels it is on an upward curve at the moment and that is good for everyone.

''If we can build on what we can achieve in the short spell things will be brighter in the future. I would have been happy (to be in Europa League contention) but when I came here I saw how achievable it was to get into the top six.

''In my head I had a points total I thought was achievable and although we haven't got that yet it is still possible and if we get to that it will be a pleasing job we will have done in the second half of the season.''

Clarke added on LFCTV: ''But I don't think it is right to set too many big targets or goals. We are guaranteed a top-six finish and if results go our way we can get fifth. If not, top six is good from where we were in January.

''Next year we have to look at it but you have to consider the strength of the league. There are a lot of good teams up there. Breaking into the top four will always be difficult but if people want to set that as an objective I'm happy to take that on board.''


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