Steven Gerrard: Beat Chelsea and Liverpool's season is a success

Liverpool captain insists only FA Cup final victory can make up for woeful league form

Everton, who are seventh in the Premier League, would probably wince at the words but they surely have to agree with the Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, who insisted yesterday as he prepared for Saturday's FA Cup final that "there's a satisfaction to winning a cup that you don't get from finishing fifth or sixth in the league".

Dalglish, whose side trail David Moyes' men by three points in eighth place, sat down to speak in the Anfield trophy room an hour before his club's principal owner, John W Henry, stepped out of the sunshine and into the stadium. Henry, who wants a top-four finish and Champions League lucre, thus missed the personal assessment of captain Steven Gerrard – that victory over Chelsea on Saturday would allow Liverpool to deem this a successful season, with the Carling Cup already tucked into the trophy cabinet behind him.

Liverpool's miserable 1-0 home defeat to Fulham on Tuesday evening, in an atmosphere better resembling a training match, did not affect Gerrard's contention that "this club is all about winning trophies; big trophies – and the FA Cup comes under that. We will assess the season after the weekend. If we can look back and say we have won two cups, then we will be happy. We need to address the problem of our league position. But silverware is success. That's why we play the game. Some of the biggest experiences we have had over the years is from winning cups – the European Cup, the FA Cup, the Uefa Cup, the Carling Cup. Those are the nights and days that you look back on with fond memories."

Dalglish was not prepared to deliver an assessment of how the season might be viewed if his own side beat Roberto Di Matteo's. "In the league, it's 38 games and at the end of it you finish in a certain position and that tells you how successful it has been," he said. "In cup competitions there aren't as many games and if you get beat you are out. There is an obsession with the Premier League because of what it holds for every club and the financial value and the rewards you get for finishing in the top four and getting into the Champions League."

Dalglish, who will be without only the long-term injured Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam for the 5.15pm kick-off on Saturday, described in his programme notes for the semi final with Everton how the trophy-winning ability he has restored creates "the younger generation of Liverpool supporters who can now start to tell their own stories about what it is like to make the trip". The Liverpool manager was as sensitive as ever to how his answers to a series of questions might be construed and was particularly unwilling to engage in conversation about Saturday's opposition.

Gerrard agreed with the notion that Chelsea might have had their minds on the pursuit of a top-four finish, at home to Newcastle United, last night. "If anything, their situation helps us slightly. We can't do anything in the league and have nothing else going on, so we can solely focus on this game," Gerrard said. But Dalglish, whose selection quandaries include whether to pick Andy Carroll, following his strong display against Chelsea in the Carling Cup, and whether Luis Enrique should return to take a place Jamie Carragher craves, responded: "I wouldn't be disrespectful to say Chelsea think one game is more important than the other."

Dalglish's inquisitors had been told that only questions about the FA Cup final would be welcome, and that there would be no further scrutiny of the Fulham result, nor any further discussion on the appointment of Dalglish's predecessor, Roy Hodgson, to the position of England manager. "I've been on the record waxing lyrical about Roy when I got here and I don't want to change that view."

Neither did Dalglish support the contention that having players with the experience of Gerrard and Carragher in the squad would be critical. "Experience helps but the boys have to help themselves as well. They can't go babysitting everybody," the manager said. "They have played at Wembley twice before [this season] and won a cup competition [against Cardiff City] and a semi-final [against Everton], and some have played there for their countries. They just have to look after themselves, they are big strong boys.

"I don't think it matters when you get to a cup final how many times you have played in one before. It'll be a help that Jamie and Steven are at this club, but on the pitch the players have to look after themselves as much as get a bit of help from each other."

Carragher added: "I don't feel any pressure from the past. You just go out and play. We are aware of the past but we don't think about that going into the game. It's a cup final. We have a great history, we know that, and we want to keep that going. I don't think it will affect me."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world