Redknapp: Liverpool’s Improved Form Means Fourth is Realistic
By Adrian Back | December 10, 2012 8:31 PM EST
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes that his old club can still push for a fourth place finish, despite only entering the top half of the table for the first time this season on Sunday.
Liverpool have endured a difficult start to the season but showed a fighting spirit at Upton Park as they recovered from a half-time deficit to claim a hard fought 3-2 win and pick up a crucial three points.
Strikes from former West Ham players Glen Johnson and Joe Cole, plus an own goal from James Collins, meant that Liverpool climbed above the east London club and are now just four points behind their Merseyside rivals Everton in fourth place.
With just four points separating eight teams from 12th to 4th place, a run of wins can propel a mid-table side into contention for a Champions League spot and Redknapp believes Liverpool may well be hitting form at the right time.
"Liverpool's next Premier League matches are against Villa and Fulham and they are showing no signs of form. Fourth place is up for grabs this season," stated Redknapp in his Daily Mail column.
The former England midfielder also believes that after the impressive display from Johnson, there is little doubt that he is the best right back in the Premier League.
"Glen Johnson proved again why he is the best right back in the country with his display of overlapping power-play and a stunning goal at West Ham," added Redknapp.
The performance of Johnson and the rest of the Liverpool side was a real boost for manager Brendan Rodgers, who was forced to play Jonjo Shelvey as a lone forward because Luis Suarez was suspended.
The Liverpool manager was delighted to see his side respond so well in the second half and was quick to praise the performance of Shelvey.
"You see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the number nine role in a different way - dropping into midfield and combining with the midfield players to make the fourth man, being a threat when he is in around the box, showing great feet and I thought he was outstanding, the kid," Rodgers told the official Liverpool website.
"It was great credit to him because there was a lot of pressure on him because people have been trying to compare him to Luis Suarez but he has been terrific in my time here, he is only 20 and has a big future ahead of him."
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