LONDON, September 14 – Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina admits the Reds may struggle to challenge for a place in the top four of the Premier League while the uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership drags on.Reina knows Roy Hodgson’s side still have plenty of room for improvement after Sunday’s drab goalless draw at Birmingham left them with only one win from their first four league matches.
The Spaniard, who was in fine form at St Andrews, believes the team is still struggling to overcome a turbulent close-season.
In the space of two months, Hodgson replaced Rafael Benitez as boss, Argentina midifelder Javier Mascherano engineered a move to Barcelona and unsettled owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were unable to find a buyer for the club.
Liverpool are already seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea after just four matches and face an uphill battle to reclaim a Champions League spot.
Reina admits a title challenge is a distant prospect at this stage, but he is hopeful Hodgson can restore the team to their former glories once the club’s ownership situation is resolved.
"We have to make sure that people don’t think of winning the league or being in the top four already at this moment," Reina said.
"It is going to take a while. We have got to get used to the new players and then the system.
"There are many good teams and our target is to be up there but we have to be realistic.
"Is a Champions League spot realistic this season? I don’t know. We will find out at the end of the season what we can achieve.
"Of course, we have to challenge for being up there. Maybe it will take a while.
"No-one has patience nowadays. We are just asking for a little bit.
"We did not spend much money and in football to compete with the others sometimes it is important to do it.
"It’s going to be like this for a little while until we sort out the (owners) situation.
"We just have to concentrate on the next game and take it from there. April and May is the time to talk about targets."