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Top 6 Liverpool's Short-Term Goal

Liverpool started the season impressively, with three Premier League wins from three taking them to the top of the table for the first time since 2009.

But injury to midfield star Philippe Coutinho has put a spanner in the works at Anfield, and successive defeats to Southampton at home in the league, and Manchester United away in the League Cup have followed.

The Reds are now in fifth place on the league table, and manager Brendan Rodgers says that position better reflects their realistic ambitions for the season.

Coutinho’s absence has revealed how Liverpool’s strength in depth across the park remains a work in progress.

And Rodgers hopes he can keep his charges rooted into the top six until January, when he wants to augment his resources further.

Following Liverpool’s elimination from the Capital One Cup by United, Rodgers told Sky Sports: "Now we can only concentrate on the league up until Christmas.

"So we have to make sure we stay up in that top six in the league and keep fighting and hopefully we can reinforce in January.

"I think the players have made an excellent start. We were flat and subdued at the weekend and we couldn't get going - part of that was because of the players we had available."

Liverpool play Sunderland on Sunday, and Rodgers is desperate for them to get back to winning ways.

And while his plan is to strengthen the squad in January, he remains confident that he already has the players to hurt the Black Cats.

"We have got a very good side. I think we showed that in the games we have played so far,” he said.

"For example the games against Manchester United, not only in the cup but also in the league - against a top team we showed that we are capable of harm and making sure we win those games.

"We have got a big game now on Sunday, where we want three points. We want to end up with the result."

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