Roberto Firmino has underlined his ambition to play European football next season, saying “I would play two or three times a week if we could.”
But after a bright start this term, Liverpool are out of both domestic cups and now setting their sights on a top-four finish, having seen their title bid derailed.
For Firmino, this is essential, with the forward revealing his thirst for football as he outlined his side’s objectives for the rest of 2016/17.
“I would play two or three times a week if we could. It’s best for the team to be playing that way,” he said.
“I’m very sad there’s no European competition this season and I’m really looking forward to hopefully getting back in next season.
“We have to work a lot harder and we have an obligation to try and achieve the top four for that reason—that we do have more rest. And that’s what we’re going to continue to try to do.
“It’s very important for the team and the players. We intend to fight to the end so that we can achieve that top-four position.
“The objective is to end in the top four. We are going to keep on fighting until the last game to achieve that goal.”
Their streamlined focus can work to their advantage, as Firmino attests, while a favourable run-in also gives them a great chance.
They are able to move into third with victory over the Foxes on Monday night, with the managerless champions having won just twice in their last 10 games.
Securing Champions League football next season should be considered imperative, both in terms of progress and in ensuring the best platform to build in the summer transfer window.
The Reds’ recruitment staff have worked wonders in signing the likes of Firmino, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip without the lure of Europe’s top-tier tournament, but it would certainly aid their cause in the future.