By Tom Finn

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told BBC Sport that he is “more determined than ever” to be a successful manager at Liverpool.

The reds travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to take on fierce rivals Manchester United trailing league leader s Chelsea by 15 points, and were unceremoniously knocked out of the Champions League midweek after only managing a draw at home against Swiss champions Basel.

Speaking about the upcoming games Rodgers said: “We are focused on improving performance levels and we very much believe that we can do that.”

Rodgers added: “I am more determined than ever to succeed here. You want to be at a club with this expectancy.

“The players know what is expected of them. Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. The ability to express ourselves has not been part of us for whatever reason this season.

“The one thing we have retained is spirit, no matter the outside influences. Our focus is back on getting ready for the weekend. We will be ready.”

Talking about Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford Rodgers went on to say: “This is always a massive game in the fixture list in this country. It’s more than a football game. You’re are representing a city and a set of supporters.”

When asked about Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who has missed the past six games with a groin, injury Rodgers said: “He’s been out for a little while now, but in the last couple of days he’s looked good in training. We’ll give him every chance to see if he can come into the squad.”

When asked about contract talks with Raheem Sterling after the Telegraph reported the youngster had turned down an offer of £70,000 per-week Rodgers said: “It’s up to the club and his representatives to sort out the deal, but there’s no unhappiness.”