Former Liverpool forward Emile Heskey believes that a top four finish instead of a title challenge would be a major success at Anfield for the coming season.

The Reds came agonisingly close to sealing a first ever Premier League crown last term, but ultimately lost out to Manchester City in a thrilling climax to the campaign.

Just two points separated the Merseysiders from the summit, and immediately after the close of play talk of going one step further was doing the rounds among their fans.

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But since the World Cup ended Liverpool have lost talismanic striker Luis Suarez, which has rather dented confidence that they can go all the way in 2014/15.

Brendan Rodgers has spent around £100m to bolster his ranks, but with the added Champions League commitments and no direct replacement for ‘El Pistolero’ having been brought in there are few predicting a first league crown in what will be 25 years by the end of the campaign.

When asked by talkSPORT if Liverpool can repeat their recent success again next term, Heskey said:

“It will be difficult. Defensively they need to be a little bit stronger, but they’re very strong on the counter-attack.

“Yes, they may have lost the goals of Luis Suarez, but they have done some good business this summer, they’ve brought in some exceptional players and it’s just about giving the team that time to gel now.

“It’s also time for Daniel Sturridge to step up now and really push himself in the Premier League.

“I think a top-four finish will still be good enough for the club next season, Champions League qualification would be a good end to the campaign.”

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