Jamie Carragher remains confident Brendan Rodgers is the right man to take Liverpool forward but feels their progress hinges on this summer’s transfer recruitment.
Carragher, who played 737 games for the Reds between 1997 and 2013, was speaking after collecting a Beacon Award for his community work on Merseyside and gave a public show of support to the Anfield manager.
Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday and are currently fifth in the Premier League, with a seven-point gap to fourth-placed Manchester City.
They look likely to miss out on Champions League football for next season but Carragher feels it is harsh to judge Rodgers on the Villa defeat alone and stressed the importance of the club’s purchasing in the next transfer window.
Liverpool bought seven players last summer, mainly with the money recouped from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but the success of the new acquisitions has been mixed.
"Is he the right man? I think so," Carragher said.
“I don’t think your whole future should be determined by one game. It was difficult with the players that came in and I still don’t think many of them have bedded in yet.
“Brendan, the players and the staff will be looking to next season and thinking they will go one step further, winning a trophy maybe and getting back into the top four.
“That’s his job. He has to identify where in the team they need to improve; the squad is there and they did a lot of that last summer.
“The signings have to be right and if they are it will make a massive difference. If they’re not they’ll be back to where they are this season.”
Carragher also underlined the importance of securing vice-captain Jordan Henderson a long-term contract at Anfield.
Henderson is believed to be close to signing a five-year deal with the club, whom he joined from Sunderland for £20m in 2011, and Carragher has been pleased with the way he has sporadically captained the club, a role he has been tipped to take on a full-time basis when Steven Gerrard leaves in the summer.
“I think he’s vitally important,” said Carragher. “He’s an England player and although he’s not a local player, the way he performs for Liverpool shows you the passion that he’s got.
“He’s a regular for England and without Steven Gerrard he’s taken on the role of the captaincy this season. The manager has said it isn’t set in stone that he will get it next season but I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t.
“His record as captain is very good and he’s a player who has grown into playing for Liverpool after a difficult start.”