Six wins away from a first English championship in almost quarter of a century, the pressure is growing on Liverpool, whose manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted with the way they are handling it.
The Merseysiders, five-times European Cup winners, have not claimed the domestic title since 1990 but maximum points from their final half-dozen matches, starting at West Ham United on Sunday, would end that dispiriting run.
Liverpool overtook Chelsea at the top last Sunday by crushing Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 and Rodgers said of that victory: “It was probably psychologically our best of the season because of some of the background noise about pressure and having to win. The level we played at and the control showed the real confidence in the team.”
Rodgers, who is in only his second season at Anfield after joining from Swansea City, told reporters at the club’s training ground: “We’re in a great position but there’s still a way to go, the finishing line’s quite a way out.
“It’s great for the players and supporters to dream but we’re calm and focused on what our job is.”
From fourth place in the table two months ago, Liverpool have stormed to the top by winning eight successive League games, scoring 30 goals in the process.
Although Manchester City, four points behind, have two games in hand, they still have to play at Anfield, where defeat on April 13 could cost them heavily.
Rodgers insists his side will be wary of West Ham and their two former Liverpool players Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing. “They are both fantastic players,” he said, despite having sold each of them.
“Andy wasn’t let go because he wasn’t good enough. We had other financial aspects we had to look at. And I didn’t want to sell Stewart, I was disappointed to see him go.”