Reina entertains title thoughts
Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina believes the club have made such huge strides in the last 12 months that players can now afford themselves the luxury of having ambitions to win the championship again.
A year ago that would have been an unthinkable prospect at Anfield as, at this stage of the season, there was more concern over keeping themselves out of the relegation zone. But the return for a second spell as boss of Kenny Dalglish, coupled with considerable transfer funds from Fenway Sports Group , has revitalised the club.
"We are a much better team than last season," said the Spain international. "We have strength in the team and the squad and it has become competitive right now. It is just the first step we have to take in a long-term project. Things are improving but we want to be even better and at some point be champions of the Premier League again."
First, however, they have to regain their Champions League status and if they are to do that they have to win matches like Saturday's visit of Swansea.
In their last home game against another newly-promoted club, Norwich, the Reds had only Craig Bellamy's first-half added-time goal to show for their efforts and, with the crowd growing restless, the visitors equalised after the break.
The expectation may be for Liverpool to roll over such teams at Anfield, where they have lost just once since last December, but Dalglish knows things are never that simple.
"Everyone needs a certain amount of patience - the players and the supporters - because they (Swansea) are going to have possession of the ball at some stage of the game," added the Scot, who sent a letter of congratulations to the Welsh club when they were promoted last season.
"It is up to us to do more with it when we have it then they do when they have it. Sometimes there is a bit of disrespect for teams who have been promoted. We've rued the games against some promoted teams over the last few years. We have to be patient in a lot of aspects of the game."
One of the areas of frustration is how close the side have come to scoring without actually doing so, having hit the woodwork 10 times so far.
"We are getting closer. We've always said we'd like to convert more of the chances we create but as long as we keep creating them then we'll have a chance," added Dalglish. "I think we've created more chances than anyone else in the Premier League. Eventually we are going to convert a high proportion of the chances we create."
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