Liverpool legend Ian Rush has reserved special praise for Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho as the club near a 19th league title.

The Reds are three matches away from an unlikely title triumph, with seven points from nine needed to secure the crown, and Rush admits manager Brendan Rodgers has already exceeded expectations.

The Welshman told RTÉ Sport: “He (Rodgers) knows how to man-manage, he knows how to coach.

"We’re ahead of our time at the moment ... but now we’re top and that’s where we want to stay" - Ian Rush

"We’re ahead of our time at the moment. We used to always say ‘fourth and look up’, but now we’re top and that’s where we want to stay now.”

Rush, Liverpool’s all-time leading goalscorer, also believes Luis Suarez has surpassed last season’s form, saying: “I looked at it last season and I though Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale were the best players in the Premiership and you think, ‘could Luis do that again?’ and he’s most probably surpassed that now.

“He came back after five games and he has repaid the manager and the owners and the fans love him.

“One thing is for certain, once the fans love you, it means you’re giving 100% on the pitch. It’s not just his goals, I think it’s his work-rate. And when other players see Luis Suarez working, they want to do the same.”

Rush also picked out Sterling and Coutinho as key components in LIverpool's resurgence.

He said: “I think over the last two or three months Raheem Sterling has come of age.

“He’s got stronger, he doesn't get knocked off the ball any more, he’s been more composed and he’s going to get even better.

“Coutinho has had a couple of injuries but he has come back and when I see his work-rate I think he’s looked at Luis Suarez and said, ‘I’m going to put that work rate in myself'.

“Technically he probably one of the best.”

Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, followed by a trip to Crystal Palace before the final game at home to Newcastle.

Rush just wants the Reds to continue the form that has made them champions elect: “It’s a new experience for everyone and when you look at it, you've just got to keep doing what you've been doing. You don’t change things now.”

Ian Rush was speaking to RTÉ Sport at the Aviva Stadium as he previewed Liverpool v Shamrock Rovers on 14 May in Dublin.