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The England full-back has heaped praise on the Anfield manager's signings since taking charge and believes the former Swansea boss will turn the Reds into contenders once again

Glen Johnson has hailed his Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as "very clever" for the way he has improved the club since taking charge.

The England international believes Rodgers’ decision to sign Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window has been a major factor in Liverpool’s rise up the Premier League table.

And with only seven matches left to play this season, Johnson expects the club to maintain their good form and build a platform for 2013/14 and be a "fighting force" once more.

"Brendan has been very clever with the signings he's made and the squad is getting to where it needs to be," Johnson told the club's official site.

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"We've won six out of seven games at Anfield so if we can finish the season with a record very similar to that then that would put us in good stead for the start of the campaign at Anfield for next season.

"We're playing well at home, dominating games and picking up most points so the longer that continues the better.

"Then pick plenty more points up on the road and hopefully we'll be a fighting force again.

"Nine times out of 10 we're putting in good performances - we haven't always picked up the points but more times than not we've played well.

"Next season, if we can play well and pick up the points, we'll be a lot further up the table."

The Reds host West Ham at Anfield on Sunday, with Johnson having started his career with the Hammers, and the 28-year-old is wary of the threat of his former club even though Liverpool loanee Andy Carroll is ineligible.

He added: "It's always nice to play against your previous clubs - I always look forward to either going back there to play or for them to come to our ground.

"They've got plenty of good players. Andy poses an obvious threat but he won't be there on Sunday. They've got Matty Taylor, who can shoot from distance. They've got a lot of good players."

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