Steven Gerrard insists the impact made by Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge since joining Liverpool in January has given him every confidence the Reds can mount a strong challenge for a top-four finish next season.
The pair have excelled since arriving on Mereyside during the last transfer window, firing 10 goals between them.
Impressed by what he has seen so far, Gerrard is confident Coutinho and Sturridge will continue to go from strength-to-strength in 2013-14.
"I don't really like jumping ahead but for me there's a lot of optimism," said the captain. "When you make signings you need to contribute. If they are attacking players, you need them to score and set up goals and be better than we already have.
"Sturridge and Coutinho are both signings for the starting XI, and they can both be even better next season.
"I'm convinced they will be two big players for us.
"And if you add another striker to that and you have Luis coming back, then that's the firepower we need to be challenging nearer to the top four.
"In fact, if we had got in Sturridge and Coutinho at the start of the season then I think we'd have been right up there among the top four."
Gerrard believes an improved level consistency will be key to achieving a return to the Champions League next season.
He added: "Our target at the start of the season was the top four so it's clear our consistency hasn't been good enough.
"I'm not really a stats man, I prefer to look at the bigger picture, but if you look at our amount of goals and clean sheets, it's clear we are moving in the right direction.
"It's not all gloom and doom. We've played some fantastic stuff this season, and besides a handful of games we've always been in with a shout."