Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says there is no doubt of a “frenzy” from those outside Anfield to see him sacked but insists he can return the club to the upper reaches of the Premier League.
Rodgers has come under pressure in recent weeks after a mixed campaign last time out continued into this season, although a much-improved display brought about victory against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Following the 3-2 success at Anfield – their first Premier League win in five matches – Rodgers took aim at critics outside the club, who he accused of whipping up hysteria.
“I’m pretty confident there’s a group of people who don’t want me here to be the manager,” he told reporters on Saturday.
And the Northern Irishman has stuck to those claims, adding his confidence that he can get Liverpool back to the level they were at when they narrowly missed out on the Premier League title two seasons ago with the likes of the now-departed Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling on song.
“There has been a frenzy to get me out of here. There is no question about that,” Rodgers stated.
“Whether that’s a Liverpool hysteria or big-club hysteria, I am not so sure. The scrutiny here is obviously greater, for me, than any club. But it is a huge club and as a manager you know that and deal with it.
“It’s not about proving people wrong. I think I have shown in the early stages of my management – without being arrogant – that with a talented group of players I can compete at the top end of the league. There are very short memories in football.
“The team was eighth when I got here and we built and produced a team to excite people throughout European football that should have won the league. It didn’t but nobody even expected us to be near the top four.
“I know how to manage top players and manage the group, but when you lose that or those players are not available and you have to piece it together, that takes time. Then all the good work gets forgotten. That’s how it works.
“It seems the focus has not been on what’s gone on and what we’ve been missing, but more about getting me out of the club. That’s sad. I am the same man who nearly won us the league, but better. If you give me the tools I’ll do the work.
“I know last season and this, there have been a lot of things going against us, but we’ve always managed to stick together. The players are very much fighting and with players returning we can have a great season.”