Rodgers sees evidence of consistency
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side are still some way off matching arch-rivals Manchester United's consistent dominance, but he remains confident it can be achieved.
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It is almost 23 years since the Reds won their last league title and in the intervening period they have had to watch their arch-rivals accumulate championships with alarming regularity.
Two seasons ago United moved themselves clear of Liverpool's tally with a record 19th title, and it may be a while before the Merseysiders are in a position to genuinely think they can begin levelling things up again.
"Of course Manchester United have been very dominant over a number of years but this is a football club that also had dominance for many years," said the Liverpool manager.
"What you are always fighting for, every day, is to get back to that level.
"It's a long, hard journey but it has to start somewhere, and what I've seen in this first period that I've been here is that going forward, we can achieve great things.
"The root of it is having a competitive squad and that is what we are trying to build, create consistency and an environment which allows you to learn and develop.
"There is no doubt on the day, as we have shown this season, we will be a match for anyone but we are now starting to see that consistency and that is important if you are going to succeed.
"That will be the benchmark for us going forward and hopefully we can keep progressing up the table."
Liverpool head to Old Trafford on Sunday 21 points behind leaders United.
Only once since Sir Alex Ferguson joined United in 1987 have Liverpool been so far behind them at this stage - in 1994 under Graeme Souness.
This week new signing Daniel Sturridge insisted there was no club in England bigger than Liverpool.
It was a statement viewed with scorn and disdain but Rodgers was mindful to agree.
"It's two of the biggest clubs in the world, not just in Britain. Two clubs who are renowned worldwide," he said.
"It's history that makes a club. Of course we are fighting in the present moment to be better and to improve but the history of this club is incredible.
"People will knock it at the moment because of the standards that were achieved here in the 1970s and 1980s, but that doesn't stop it being one of the biggest clubs in the world, and a club many players want to play for.
"Both clubs are institutions in their own right."
Liverpool have won just 15 league matches at Old Trafford in 117 years and have only one victory - March 2009 - in the last eight visits.
Nevertheless, Rodgers maintains they have as good a chance as any this year as, although United have lost just once in 10 home games, they have leaked 13 goals and conceded 28 overall in 21 games.
"They have conceded more goals at home than what they would have wanted," said the Reds boss, whose side are looking for a fourth successive victory (one of which came in the FA Cup) for the first time since February 2011.
"We now have more firepower in the club, people are returning from injury, and we have confidence in the team having won seven out of our last nine games.
"We have the attacking intent but we must also have tactical discipline and order in your game.
"We want to win the game but over the course of the second half of the season will be the real barometer of the levels we're at.
"I expect us to be better the second half of the season than the first."