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The 40-year-old is refusing to hide behind the excuse that other clubs are in a stronger financial position than the Reds and is aiming solely for a place in the top four

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted that nothing less than Champions League qualification is acceptable for his Anfield side this season.

Rodgers' team achieved a disappointing seventh-placed finish in the Premier League in 2012/13, and last qualified for Europe's premier club competition in 2009.

However, the 40-year-old is refusing to hide behind the excuse that clubs like Manchester City have more financial muscle than Liverpool, and is aiming solely for a place in the top four.

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2/1 Liverpool are 2/1 with BetVictor for a top-four finish in 2013/14
"The measure of Liverpool will always be the Champions League and the big European competitions - for the length of time I'm here and when I move on for the next manager coming in," he told reporters.

"I can stand here and make excuses, I can say City have spent £90-odd million and other teams already in there have got stronger and reinforced as a group, but that's not going to solve anything, it won't help my job here.

"If you start to think about it being unfair then you just anchor yourself and it's hard to move on then. That pressure to deliver is what you expect at a big club, of course it's difficult, but it's why we are here.

"If you are in those top echelons you can maybe attract another type of player but I'm not going to bleat and moan about it being unfair, I just need to get on with the job and do the best I can.

"We have got to fight for our life, with our play. Play with the type of football that can maybe be different and get players in who are hungry."

Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign against Stoke on Saturday at 12:45PM.

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