After failing to secure a top-five finish in their past four Premier League seasons, new club owner John W. Henry was prepared to be patient with the coach’s work in improving his new Reds side.

And asked whether he feels the team are ahead of where he expected them to be at this stage of his reign, Rodgers told Kick Off:

“Yes, I feel they are. When I spoke to the owners when I decided to come to Liverpool, I certainly wanted to be challenging for the Champions League by my third year at the club.

“But I haven’t been surprised by the players because I’ve seen how much they put into their game and I know the quality we have.

“I think we’ve probably moved ahead of where I thought we would be this season, some of our play has been exceptional, but there are still areas of the team that I feel we need to improve on.

“It’s been a wonderful season, to be in our position with 11 games to go is fantastic, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Rodgers has played down the Merseyside outfit’s Premier League title chances throughout the campaign, despite leading the table at the half-way stage in December.

Liverpool have produced some of the most attractive attacking football in the top flight this season, but have also been plagued with defensive blunders - which were both highlighted in their frantic 4-3 victory over Swansea on Sunday.