No matter how Liverpool's remaining five games of the season unfold, Brendan Rodgers will take immense pride from the progress achieved through the club's method of development.

The Northern Irishman has guided his team to the summit of the Barclays Premier League with one month left to navigate of the campaign - starting with Manchester City this Sunday.

Rodgers' vision of a one-club mentality has blossomed throughout his tenure, and particularly during the past year, with not only the first team, but the Academy and Ladies sides flourishing.

As he looked ahead to the visit of City to Anfield at the weekend, the manager reiterated his commitment to improving players and people en route to attempting to secure Liverpool success.

He told reporters on Friday: "This season, however it finishes, will be a great victory for the model that we've chosen to work here, which is about player development.

"We look at each individual player, looking at the players within our system, within our structure at the Academy and the club; looking at the senior players, how we can find ways to extend their careers to make them better players.

"And, while the individual is improving, making sure that the collective team is the most important aspect of it all. Liverpool as a club is very much a development club - development for players and for people.

"It's a model that we feel will give us that sustainable success over a longer period."

When Rodgers last pitted his tactical wits against Manuel Pellegrini and City, on Boxing Day 2013, his Reds were hugely unfortunate to suffer a 2-1 reversal at the Etihad Stadium.


Energy and work-rate were married with high-speed creativity in a display that troubled the hosts repeatedly and deserved a single point from the tie at a minimum.

"It was a very good game there," reflected Rodgers. "I thought we were the better team on the day; we didn't get the result but I was pleased with the performance.

"We needed to manage the game better. We conceded a disappointing goal, in particular just before half-time. But as a team, we've progressed and that's something we've done on a daily basis here."

That progression was evident by the manner in which Rodgers' outfit recovered from a disappointment moments before the break at West Ham United last Sunday.

Having registered a 44th-minute advantage via a Steven Gerrard penalty kick, the away side felt harshly treated, with Simon Mignolet subjected to heavy pressure as Guy Demel equalised.

But the response was as stern as it was instant; the Hammers were pushed back into their own half and eventually defeated by a second spot-kick from the skipper.

Rodgers was impressed. "It has been continual," he said of the players' advancement this season. "I look back to the game last week - at 1-1, people were maybe thinking we would panic. We didn't.

"We kept our calmness, we kept our control, we kept passing the ball and waited for the possibilities to score. That's something that clearly wasn't happening when I first came in.

"It is something that has developed over time. It wasn't happening in parts of last season; we were up in games and maybe would have conceded to draw games, or sometimes lose games, whereas now, we keep that control and domination to go on and win games.

"There's clearly development and still clearly a lot of progress that we need to make as well."