Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes that the Reds have enough quality in their squad to compete for a top four finish.

Currently out of work, Benitez still lives in Liverpool and has a strong affinity with the club he helped win a fifth European Cup back in 2005.

Benitez was reportedly keen to make a return to Liverpool when Kenny Dalglish was sacked in the summer, but he still finds himself looking for a job after being sacked by Inter Milan just six months after accepting the job.

Rafa Benitez
Benitez still has a strong affinity to Liverpool and continues to live in Merseyside [Reuters]

While the Spanish manager remains a popular figure on Merseyside, some fans have already begun to question the appointment of Brendan Rodgers after a difficult start to the season.

However, Benitez feels as though the majority of Liverpool fans will be firmly behind the manager who is hoping to once again build a side capable of challenging for a place in the top four.

"They know they have to support the team, support the manager and support the club," Benitez told the Belfast Telegraph. "They are clever fans and understand the situation."

It has been a difficult start to the season for Rodgers who is yet to secure his first Premier League win, and was criticised by many for allowing Andy Carroll to leave on-loan during the summer transfer window.

With a lack of options in attack, there has been a growing feeling that the club may struggle to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United; all of whom have strengthened significantly over the summer.

Yet, Benitez still feels as though Liverpool have a squad which is capable of pushing for a place in the top four and potentially returning to the Champions League.

"I think they have enough quality to be in the top four - that's my impression," stated Benitez.

"Now because they are in a bad position people say 'no chance', but I think they have enough experience, quality, young players and the desire so I think they can compete."