Football: Liverpool still coming to the boil

LIVERPOOL - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes there is still more to come from his Liverpool side after they moved to the top of the Premier League table.

The Reds beat Cardiff City 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday to move above leaders Arsenal, who face fourth-place Chelsea on Monday.

Since their 3-1 defeat at Hull City on December 1, Liverpool have picked up four consecutive victories, scoring 17 goals.

Rodgers, who took over from Kenny Dalglish in 2012, believes that the squad are taking his ideas on board and cites the January signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho as key factors in their current form.

The 18-time English champions now face tough trips to Manchester City and Chelsea, but Rodgers thinks his side can still improve.

"Last year it took us a while to get into the top 10," he said. "People are talking about a good start, but you will see from January this is a team that's been on the up.

"It's a set of principles and footballing ideas that have been implemented over 18 months coming to fruition and the players are enjoying their aggressive attacking football with hard work as the core. And we can get better.

"It's unprecedented to go from seventh (where Liverpool finished last season) to first, but where we are shows the work that the players and the club have done and we just want to keep this momentum going.

"We're very calm and we're not getting carried away. It's been five tough years, but the fans are going home happy and we're reclaiming that mentality at Anfield."

Manchester City are many pundits' favourites for the Premier League title, but Rodgers is excited by the prospect of his team's trip to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

"We really look forward to the games. We should have won at Manchester City last year," he said.

"They're a great squad of players and people look at it as Man City's title to lose because of the squad they have.

"We're just taking it a game at a time. We're on a fantastic run and pressing the game very well. We'll get there on Boxing day in a good moment."

With Rodgers using the same team that started in last weekend's 5-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur, the Reds took the lead midway through the first when Suarez volleyed in from Jordan Henderson's cross.

Three minutes before the interval, Suarez broke away and set up Raheem Sterling for the second before the Uruguayan curled in from the edge of the area from Henderson's backheel.

Jordon Mutch pulled one back with a header from Peter Whittingham's free-kick in the second half.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay faces speculation that he is on the brink of being sacked by owner Vincent Tan, but the Scot, who took the Bluebirds to promotion last season, insists he will not be forced to quit.

"What I can tell you crystal clear is that I won't be resigning as manager of the football club," he said.

"I'm proud of the job that I've got and I couldn't look myself in the mirror to walk away from the people that work for me, the coaching staff and all of the staff and the players and our fans. I'm not going to walk away from them either.

"I've been in English football for 15 years and been a manager for five years, so I've worked with and against a lot of people and it heartens and humbles me, some of the quotes that have come out this week. And I was humbled by our fans.

"I absolutely will not be resigning from the football club, there's no need for that to happen.

"Anything beyond that, I will have conversations with the League Managers Association, but at the moment there's absolutely no way I'll be resigning."