The Reds have not qualified for the Champions League since the 2008-09 campaign and are nine points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur with six Premier League games remaining.
Despite it looking almost certain that they will miss out on the top four again this year, Johnson firmly believes that Rodgers has overseen positive changes at Anfield.
"Brendan was brought in to rebuild the squad and put Liverpool back into the places that it should be," he said.
"This season has been a step closer to that. Eight times out of 10 we have dominated games. Sometimes, like against West Ham, we haven't come away with the points that we deserve. We have battered teams but if we don't get that early goal, it has given them encouragement.
"Brendan wants to put us back in the top four but he wasn't asked to do that in his first season. If we improve on last season then it is a step in the right direction, and we have definitely done that."
Rodgers arrived at the Merseyside club last summer after impressing during his tenure at Swansea City.