Brendan Rodgers has reiterated the benefit of the 'army of supporters' at Anfield, who he believes can play a crucial role in Liverpool's fortunes during the remaining seven games of the season.

The manager and his players were stunned by an incredible welcome before their Barclays Premier League fixture with Sunderland on Wednesday, as fans lined Anfield Road with banners and flags.

Propelled by the passion inside and outside the stadium, Rodgers' charges secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Black Cats to record a seventh straight win and reclaim second place in the standings.

As the Reds now prepare to host Tottenham Hotspur in L4, the Northern Irishman has explained how a positive attitude and atmosphere can have a huge impact as the campaign nears its conclusion.

"My message to the fans is to enjoy it," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "We need the fans to stay calm. I know when you want something so much, that's easier said than done.

"They haven't been in this position for a while. I can understand that sometimes there is that bit of trepidation and fear.

"But what we're looking to put in place here isn't just for one season. We're looking to put something in place for the longer term in order to have sustainable success.

"We're hoping that last season was the beginning. It maybe didn't seem that way in the first four to six months but we did a lot of the groundwork last year and we've been evolving ever since.

"The atmosphere at Anfield can be a real cauldron and now we really need our army of supporters to really get behind us.

"If a player makes a mistake, then encourage him. That's so important, because if they get that encouragement then they will get on the ball again.

"Amazing support at home is something we've had all season. Let's make sure in these last remaining games it continues along that way. Don't be frightened to really enjoy it because as players and staff, we will."

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Liverpool closed the gap to Premier League leaders Chelsea to a single point with the midweek triumph against Sunderland, which had followed their six-goal haul at Cardiff City last weekend.

Throughout his media duties on Friday, Rodgers accentuated the level of calm and focus among his players and he insisted that his side can complete their fixture list with a sense of freedom.

He continued "Of course it's been a long time since we've been challenging at the top but I see the level of their work and their body language every day.

"The players here are very relaxed and focused. It's one where we aren't expected to be where we are - that helps. There is certainly no pressure on ourselves.

"It's exciting for us. The club hasn't been in this position for a number of years and it's something we are embracing.

"My job is to ensure we retain that focus. We have put ourselves in a brilliant position and we've worked hard all year to arrive in this position.

"We just want to continue with this form. At the moment our momentum is very good. We have got class in the team. At times you will lose momentum, but you can't lose class.

"Other teams may have more experienced players than ours who have won more titles than ours. But we have quality and we also have great hunger to succeed.

"That hunger can sometimes give you a real advantage. We are playing with no fear and we showed that in the main against Sunderland the other night."

Goals either side of half-time from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge had earned a cushion for the Reds earlier this week, but Sunderland responded with 15 minutes left to set up a nervy finale.

Having analysed the contest again, the manager stressed his pleasure with the overall performance of his team - pointing particularly to their ability to take control of a situation when necessary.

"We were more comfortable than what it seemed," said Rodgers. "Up until the 75th minute we were excellent. Probably because we've scored so many goals at home, 2-0 didn't seem like it was comfortable.

"But watching it again, we passed the ball with great precision and the movement was very good behind and in front of the ball.

"We were off target at times with our shooting but the composure in our game was very good. Of course, after they scored a bit of anxiousness set in in the crowd but that's to be expected.

"What we showed was, one, resilience, and, two, even greater maturity to see the game through.

"That last little spell of the game with taking the ball into the corners was what I've been talking about to them - managing the game.

"The victory against a team who have beaten lot of big teams this season was an outstanding result for us. For three-quarters of the game it was an excellent performance."