LFC hoping to clinch three deals before transfer window closes
Brendan Rodgers is determined Liverpool won’t become carried away by their 100% start to the season – as he closed in on at least three new arrivals ahead of tonight’s transfer deadline.
Rodgers’ men moved to the top of the embryonic table by defeating champions Manchester United at Anfield yesterday.
In-form Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal for the third successive Premier League game to give Liverpool their best start to a top-flight campaign in 19 years.
But while impressed by the progress of his team – who have now lost only one of their last 15 league games – Rodgers admits there remains plenty of room for improvement.
“We won't be getting carried away,” said the Liverpool manager. “We've got a lot to improve and a lot of work ahead of us.
“The initial challenge this year is to try and get into the top four and be in the conversation for that for as long as we can. I don't think we can look at anything beyond that for a long time yet.
“But it's another step forward for us. I mentioned the other day, since we last played Manchester United in January, we had both played 18 league games and there were only two points difference.
“Obviously they went on to become champions and we suffered because of our form in the first half of the season.
“But this was another indicator that the winning mentality we're growing and evolving all the time in the group is becoming stronger.
“You could see from the reaction that the togetherness is very good and that is going to be important for us this year.”
Liverpool were on the defensive for much of the second half as United pressed for an equaliser.
However, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was rarely called into action and Rodgers said: “Defensively we were very, very good.
“Obviously Manchester United played well, but I thought our concentration and defensive qualities were outstanding.”
Liverpool won only one of 14 games against top-eight opposition last season and hadn’t beaten United in the league since March 2011.
And Rodgers said: “We'll be more fluid as the season goes on and we'll become better, but these are the big games we wanted to be winning this year – we drew too many last year.
“I think you could see the spirit and togetherness in the team, playing against the champions. It's always a tough game.
“To get the three points and three wins out of three, I can only be happy with that.”
Rodgers added: “From the goalkeeper right the way through to Daniel Sturridge, the 11 players and the guys who came off the bench all played a big part in the victory.
“Through the spine of the team, Sturridge was excellent, Steven Gerrard has shown at 33 he's still got the composure, tenacity and quality to play in these games, and the two centre-halves were excellent. The goalkeeper was assured, safe and very motivated.
“This was about the team and they got the rewards with a terrific performance.”
Watching on from the directors’ box yesterday were Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori and Victor Moses, all three of whom Rodgers is confident of signing today.
Liverpool have agreed an £18million deal with Paris Saint-Germain for Sakho while Sporting Lisbon’s highly-rated 20-year-old Ilori will cost £7m.
Moses, meanwhile, is poised to complete a season-long loan move from Chelsea while Rodgers has still not given up hope of a similar deal for Aston Villa’s veteran Irish goalkeeper Shay Given.
“We need that depth and we need more numbers,” said Rodgers. “The players that we want, if we can get them over the line, are all quality players and will really help us going forward.”
One player who could be heading out of Anfield is Fabio Borini, with Sunderland keen on a loan move for the Italian, who was not on the bench yesterday.