“We had a completely new coaching set-up and there were a few new players coming in, as well as a few players going out.
“My experience of football is that when that amount of change takes place, it takes time for everything to settle, for people to get used to each other, for us to get used to the manager’s philosophy and how he wants us to play.
“My feelings now are that we’re moving forward. I think that from now until the end of the season we’ll make big strides and improve a lot.
“I’m pretty confident that you’ll see us sneak into those top positions but it’s all about consistency, winning games, turning draws into wins and avoiding silly defeats. That’s what we’ve got to try and eliminate from our game.”
Another curious factor of Liverpool’s revival has been that it has coincided with Rodgers turning to players many thought would soon be discarded.
Stewart Downing has emerged as a regular, Jordan Henderson has started to feature more prominently and Jose Enrique would have been a guaranteed starter on Sunday but for a hamstring problem that will now keep him out for six weeks.
Old Trafford, then, will be another step up the learning curve for Andre Wisdom, with fellow youngsters Raheem Sterling and Suso also likely to figure.
And Henderson believes Liverpool’s recent form gives them belief they can gain a positive result this weekend.
“We have won our last two league games so we have good confidence going into the match at Old Trafford,” he says.
“It’s always difficult against Manchester United, especially as they have been playing so well at the moment. We’ll go into the game confident and if we keep playing the way we are, then let’s see what happens.”
However, Liverpool’s recent record at Old Trafford is grim. While no Anfield supporter will ever forget the 4-1 victory there four years ago, that was the only one in the last 10 visits that their team hasn’t lost at United.
Last season’s match was overshadowed even before a ball was kicked by Luis Suarez’s decision not to shake hands with Patrice Evra ahead of making his first start since the completion of an eight-match ban following his race row with the United defender.
The arrival of the New Year provided opportunity to bring in much-needed support for Suarez, with Rodgers wasting no time in copper-bottoming the expected £12million arrival of Daniel Sturridge.
While taking only seven minutes to open his account in the FA Cup third round win at non-league Mansfield Town on Sunday, it would be a surprise if the former Chelsea man, previously sidelined since November 17, starts alongside Suarez on Sunday.
Sturridge caused a stir earlier in the week when he declared there was no bigger club in the Premier League than Liverpool. But for United veteran Paul Scholes, the rivalry with the Anfield side still outstrips that with neighbours and champions City.
“Liverpool probably haven’t done as well as they’d have liked over the last few years – and they’d probably admit that,” he says. “Whether City have overtaken Liverpool now (as United’s biggest rivals), I don’t know – it’ll probably take years for City to create what Liverpool have.”