Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits missing out on a place in Europe next season may not be a bad thing.
Rodgers remains hopeful his side can clinch a place in the Europa League for 2013/14 despite being seven points behind fifth-placed Arsenal with only six matches remaining in the Premier League.
However, the Northern Irishman will not be too disappointed if they fall short as he is plotting an assault on the top four next season.
"There are two arguments," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "As a club we want to be in there. We really enjoyed the European football this season after it had been missing for a year and I know the supporters love the travel.
"But you could argue that a season free of European football would give us a greater chance of finishing in a much higher position in the league - of competing for the top four which is a really difficult task with the teams up there and the finances involved.
"Our squad from the beginning of this season was small and we are gradually building that up.
"We would love to be in there and we want to finish as high as we possibly can, but it won't be the end of the world if we don't qualify for Europe. If it doesn't happen then it could end up being a blessing for us.
"It could allow us to have a real strong run at the league next year and that can then really springboard us for the years going forward.
"But ultimately we want a squad strong enough to be able to cope with European football as well as the domestic league and cups."