Kolo Toure is convinced Liverpool are making progress this season, as they look to retain their place in the Premier League’s top-four.
Last term the Reds came agonisingly close to ending their 24-year wait for the league title, and ended the campaign just two points adrift of champions Manchester City. But that must already seem like a lifetime ago for their suffering fans, who can no longer count upon the brilliance of Luis Suarez after their former talisman was sold to Barcelona for £75million during the summer window.
Brendan Rodgers spent heavily in a bid to compensation for the loss of the Uruguayan international, but so far his signings have failed to produce the goods. Added to this the injury to Daniel Sturridge which was restricted the England international to just three appearances, and it has so far been a season of struggle in which they currently find themselves languishing in ninth position.
Their latest disappointment came on Saturday afternoon when they couldn’t break down a resolute Sunderland, who left Anfield on the back of a goalless draw. This means Liverpool will end the weekend six points adrift of the top-four, but Toure believes such a finish remains a very real possibility for he and his team-mates after recognising that steady progress is being made.
“We have had a difficult start but we are catching up slowly and surely,” said the defender. “There is more work to do, definitely. Last season we were outstanding in every area, but this season has been difficult. When you have a tough start it is always difficult because the confidence is not always there. We are catching up and the team feels more secure and we need to keep going in that direction.”
The Reds’ league campaign with the trip to archrivals Manchester United on Sunday. Last season they were able to record a memorable 3-0 win at Old Trafford, yet it would be something of a surprise if they are able to repeat such a scoreline this time round. Defeat, on the other hand, could see them trail Louis van Gaal’s side by 10 points if the Manchester side also win at Southampton beforehand.
But before Rodgers plots his tactics for the big grudge clash next weekend, he has the small matter of the visit of FC Basle to contend with on Tuesday night. If he can lead his side to glory over the Swiss side on what is likely to be a tense night on Merseyside, it will be enough to see them edge into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League; however, unless their form picks up domestically, they may have to win the famous trophy for a sixth time in their history if they want to compete in it again next season.
Are Liverpool really making progress, or is Toure kidding himself? Let us know what you think by joining in with the discussion below.