Skrtel targets the cup double for Liverpool


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The Independent Football

Liverpool have three ambitions left for this season and defender Martin Skrtel sees no reason why they cannot achieve the lot. Qualification for the Champions League remains the primary aim, as it was when the campaign kicked off, but the Carling Cup final appearance scheduled for the end of the month gives the Reds a chance to end a five-year trophy drought.

But Skrtel does not think they should settle for that and with Brighton the visitors to Anfield on Sunday in the fifth round of the FA Cup, the Slovakia international is thinking about a cup double. "At the start of the season our targets were to qualify for the Champions League and to win some trophies," he said.

"Now we are in the Carling Cup final, still in the FA Cup and close to the top four – our targets are still reachable. It's up to us to ensure we qualify for the Champions League. When you look at our games with the teams who are in those positions at the moment I don't think they are that much better than us.

"We've had close games with [Manchester] City, [Manchester] United and Spurs and we beat Chelsea. I believe we can get there.

But first up is the visit of Championship side Brighton, whom the Reds defeated in the Carling Cup earlier this season. The FA Cup was the last silverware Liverpool won – back in 2006 – but despite the history of the competition, Skrtel believes the Carling Cup has equal significance for them, not least because it will guarantee a route back into Europe albeit via the Europa League.

"Some people say the FA Cup is more important than the Carling Cup. I don't see it that way," he told LFC magazine.

"They are both trophies and if you win one or the other you qualify for Europe. I want to win both of them. I don't think one is more important than the other."

Over the last four months Skrtel has forged an impressive partnership with Daniel Agger at the centre of defence, keeping Jamie Carragher on the sidelines. Left-back Jose Enrique thinks the Skrtel-Agger partnership is the best of its kind in England. "I wouldn't change our centre-backs for any centre-backs in the league. They are both playing amazingly," he said.