Brendan Rodgers is ignoring the trends of history as he tries to lead Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool sits 10th in the Premier League standings with 22 points after 17 games. The Reds trail fourth-place West Ham by nine points, but Rodgers expects his club to mount a winning run, bridge the gap and ultimately finish in the top four places and secure qualification to next season’s Champions League.

“Can we now challenge for the top four?” Rodgers said Sunday following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal, according to the BBC. “Yes. Absolutely. The most important thing is that we are moving in the right direction again.

“This a group of players with the talent to win games, as we did when we won 11 in succession last season, and that can quickly move you up the league.”

Liverpool now is in the festive period of the season, in which it will play three more games between now and Jan. 1. The Reds’ performances gradually are improving, and Rodgers expects results to follow.

Liverpool has a long way to climb before it enters the reckoning for a place in next season’s Champions League, and history suggests Rodgers is trying to achieve the impossible.

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Rodgers said Daniel Sturridge’s return from injury will galvanize the club.

“Slowly we are getting back to where we want to be. Our performance was outstanding,” Rodgers said. “Our passing was crisp. When you add that to the pressing and intensity that was back in our game, and then hopefully bring Daniel Sturridge back in January, then we can get back to being the team we were last season (when Liverpool finished second).”

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Thumbnail photo via Jon Super/The Associated Press