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Liverpool must finish in the top four, says Skrtel

The 28-year-old central defender believes the club's future will be indelibly affected by what Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side can achieve in the 2013/14 English Premier League.

Ahead of Liverpool's 13th match of the Premier League campaign, Rodgers' team sit second and could move within four points of leaders Arsenal if they overcome Hull on Sunday.

Liverpool have not played in the Champions League since the 2009/10 season and with the likes of Luis Suarez at the club, Skrtel believes they cannot afford to miss out on Europe's top continental competition again.

"We definitely wouldn't be happy finishing fifth," Skrtel said.

"The target for Liverpool must be the top four – and that's what we are all looking to achieve.

"For me, I am at one of the biggest clubs in the world. And I would say that all the players here are proud to play for the club – but everyone has an ambition to play in the Champions League.

"So, it is important to us, as players and for the club's future that we finish in the top four this season."

Skrtel knows Champions League football will be crucial in retaining players like Suarez - who is level with fellow Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge in second on the Premier League's goal-scoring charts with nine goals.

The Slovakian is happy with how Liverpool have started their current campaign but said they must continue building.

"We have played very well so far and we can have ¬confidence in the future but only qualifying for the Champions League will count as a success," Skrtel said.