Warnock - We can finish fourth
Stephen Warnock feels that if Aston Villa finish above his former club Liverpool they will break into the top four.
Last Updated: 22/10/09 5:34pm
Stephen Warnock feels that if Aston Villa can finish above his former club Liverpool then they will be playing UEFA Champions League football next season.
Much has been made of Liverpool's slump in form of late, with four consecutive defeats ramping up the pressure on Reds boss Rafa Benitez.
Liverpool's malaise, albeit at such an early stage of the season, has led to talk of the top four's monopoly of the Premier League being broken for the first time since Everton finished fourth back in 2005.
Villa are one of those contenders primed to topple the top flight's established order and Warnock, who has impressed since joining the club from Blackburn, is confident his new side are good enough to last the pace.
"Definitely," Warnock told Sky Sports News, when asked if Villa could finish fourth.
"With the players we've got and the way we've played so far this season, the results against Chelsea and Man City, people are starting to sit up and take notice of us and think we're a real threat."
Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield by Benitez before going on to make a name for himself and win international honours at Blackburn, Warnock can feel vindicated that he has proved his old boss wrong.
But it is not with glee that boyhood Liverpool fan Warnock has observed recent problems on Merseyside.
"I feel for him. There are still a few players there that I know and keep in touch with. I'm a Liverpool fan, I grew up a Liverpool fan, so I always want them to do well," he added.
"I always want them to do well but there is the other side, where I want to finish above them. If we do, I think we'll finish in the top four."
When asked whether he felt foreign players had blocked his path into Liverpool's first team he said: "To a degree, yeah, but I think you've always got to think that if you're good enough you'll come through and you'll play.
"Looking back now at my time at Liverpool I think I could have held down a place if I'd had a good run. It didn't happen. Whether that was due to my own form or foreign players being bought in front of me I'll never know."