Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers rules out top-four finish

Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on April 4, 2015 in London, England.
Image: Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool manager has conceded defeat in his club's bid to qualify for next season's Champions League

Brendan Rodgers feels Liverpool now have "too much ground to make up" to finish in the Premier League top four.

The Reds are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City after losing back-to-back games against Manchester United and Arsenal, who consigned Rodgers' men to a 4-1 defeat in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

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Two huge blows for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers' team play Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Ewood Park on Wednesday night, and that competition will now be his priority.

He said: "The reaction and commitment of the players has been first class since (the defeat to Crystal Palace in November).

"Really, up until the Manchester United game we were the form team and playing very, very well.

"But we have been dealt two big blows in these last two games, we haven't performed how we would like and that has ultimately cost us in terms of the result.

"I very much doubt we will be in the top four now come the end of the season. There's too much ground to make up - that's the realistic view from me.

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"Now, we must really focus on the FA Cup and that has got to be very, very important for us."

Rodgers also denied suggestions that the speculation over Raheem Sterling's future ahead of the game had taken its toll at the Emirates.

He said: "It's not distractions, we were just poor defensively. You see from our record the last six games we haven't conceded away from home.

"It's just a disappointing day when you concede bad goals, you're always going to be up against it against a team that's obviously got good confidence."

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