English Premier League

Sterling aiming for top four

Tuesday 28th May 2013 7:35

Raheem Sterling is confident that Liverpool can challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot next season and has praised manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool finished seventh in their first year under Rodgers but Sterling insists there were plenty of positives to take from the campaign, particularly their strong finish.

Sterling also believes that Rodgers deserves a lot of credit for his managerial methods and pleasing playing style.

"He's a top guy," the 18-year-old told Sky Sports News. "He is one of them who is not just interested when you are playing well at the moment, he also looks at players who are not playing or young players.

"Liverpool should be really grateful that they have a manager like that because he is a big bonus for the team and the players, and obviously his playing style is really attractive.

"He has also got some players in during the January transfer window and they are putting the performances in, so these are really exciting times for Liverpool now next season."

Daniel Sturridge was one of those recruited by Rodgers in January, and Sterling feels his displays have shown that Liverpool can cope without Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan was given a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanoivic and will not be available to return to action until late September.

Sterling said: "It will be a big blow but Daniel has scored ten or 11 goals since he has come in and done really well. He has stepped up to the plate and shown what a good player he is."

Liverpool are now hoping to push on next season and compete for a place in the Champions League.

Asked where they could realistically aim to finish, Sterling replied: "I'd say top four, definitely.

"As we ended the season we can see how strong the team has become. Hopefully we can get a good start to the season and just maintain that."

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