Rodgers excited by bright future

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to Champions League nights at Anfield Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to Champions League nights at Anfield

Manager Brendan Rodgers is excited by the prospect of leading Liverpool into the Champions League next season after committing his long-term future to the club.

The disappointment of finishing runners-up to Premier League champions Manchester City was offset by the knowledge the club would be back among Europe's elite for the first time since 2009.

Rodgers, who on Monday signed a new deal believed to take him through to 2018 at Anfield, experienced the Europa League during his first year in charge, but knows next season will be completely different.

"It's a real exciting time," said the 41-year-old.

"I've seen the games before and I've been fortunate enough to have been at Anfield on a Champions League occasion and they are truly special occasions.

"You see the support the players get. We had it in the Europa League, when I sensed a little bit of that atmosphere.

"Of course, it's a different competition, but when we needed to get the win against Zenit St Petersburg the supporters that night were incredible.

"Throughout my time here, in the big games, the supporters really show how passionate they are and they show why they are the great set of supporters that they are.

"We'll really look forward to it because we know that in the Champions League, if we can perform well away from home, in the home games we're going to be hard to beat because of the supporters and the quality of the team."

Rodgers' summer recruitment will be key as he looks to improve a squad which, despite lacking quality in depth, ran an expensively-assembled City side very close in the title race.

The added attraction of Champions League football should ensure they can target a higher calibre of player than last year when Rodgers bought the likes of Sevilla's Luis Alberto and Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas for a combined £15million, only for both to fail to make an impact.

Progress is slow in talks with Southampton for midfielder Adam Lallana, although Liverpool have been offered some encouragement in their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, despite the presence of a Bayern Munich buy-back clause.

"We're all working hard still in terms of looking to get players in," Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com.

"Of course, at the club where we are now the signings are complex, they are not all simple signings.

"But we need to strengthen up the squad and that's something that we're working hard to do over the next number of weeks."

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