LONDON - Controversial striker Luis Suarez gave Liverpool fans a fresh boost by saying on Friday the Reds would qualify for next season's Champions League so long as they held their current form.
It is five years since Liverpool last took part in European club football's premier competition — a wait that sits uneasily with their status as five-times continental champions.
Securing a place in next season's edition is widely seen as vital to ensuring Suarez, as happened before the start of the current campaign, doesn't agitate for a move away from Anfield.
But, on the field, Suarez has put that row behind him by scoring 20 Premier League goals already this season, half of those in December.
Liverpool are currently fourth in the table, four points adrift of Chelsea, and need to be in the top four come the season's end to qualify for the Champions League.
"On the pitch I try to help Liverpool and I try to help the squad, and I think for confidence it is very good," Suarez said on Friday after winning the award for the Premier League player of the month.
"If Liverpool continue at this level we can finish in the top four, which we want."
Manager Brendan Rodgers said that for all Suarez's attempts to join another club before the start of this season, he was delighted to have had such a talented player under his care.