Carragher keen for Europa League place

Defender Jamie Carragher insists critics who claim Liverpool would be better off not qualifying for the Europa League do not understand the club.

Yesterday's 3-0 win at Anfield took the Reds above Tottenham and into fifth place.



Even though Spurs have a game in hand they have to go to Anfield for the penultimate match of the season and Kenny Dalglish's side are now favourites to claim the European spot.



However, because of the upheaval at the club this season, with the change of ownership in October followed by the January removal of Roy Hodgson just six months into the job, many observers and fans believe the Europa League will do more harm than good to the rebuilding process.



It is not a view shared by Carragher, who insists the winning mentality which has returned under Dalglish means the players want to compete for everything.



"I know there is a lot of talk about whether people want us to finish fifth but, for me, Liverpool is European football," said the 33-year-old.



"That's what the club is about, and I'm desperate for us to get it.



"It is another trophy to go for. I'd have loved to have been in Dublin (for this season's final) in a couple of weeks - that would have been fantastic for us and fantastic for the supporters.



"If we keep winning games, we've got a good chance of qualifying, but Tottenham will probably feel the same, and I think (the Spurs game on May 15) will be a great game now.



"It is important for the team to keep winning and maintain the feelgood factor.



"It hasn't been a great 18 months really for the club, it has been tough.



"Now, though, we can start to enjoy ourselves and go into games expecting to win."



Contrary to popular opinion, Carragher thinks being involved in the Europa League - the Champions League looks beyond their reach now with Manchester City seven points ahead with a match in hand - may actually be a help rather than a hindrance.



Liverpool's European campaign this season started on July 29, albeit with a number of fringe players because of the knock-on effect of the World Cup.



The Reds vice-captain believes utilising the whole squad will keep things competitive and harmonious in the early stages of the new campaign.



"Of course I can understand why fans would not want us to be in the Europa League and [as players] playing Thursday and Sunday doesn't give you much time to recover," he added.



"Realistically the manager would use the squad to start with and it would be good for the young players to get European experience as well.



"And I am sure we will be adding some new players to the squad next season so we would have a bigger squad than we have now and more players could be involved, playing more games.



"When you are only playing every Saturday it is difficult to keep players happy because you don't change the team so much so you end up having 10 or 12 unhappy players.



"Sometimes having more games can keep everyone happy at the club."



Carragher is set to become the club's second-highest appearance maker next Monday at Fulham having gone level with Emlyn Hughes and Ray Clemence on 665 against Newcastle.



"It is something to look back on at the end of your career - just to be anywhere near these people is a great honour for me," said the veteran centre-back, who is captaining the team in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard.



"For now I want to look forward, to get more appearances, and hopefully help the club do well and win trophies."



Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez said they had to bounce back from a defensively shaky performance for their final three matches, two of which are at home to Birmingham and West Brom.



"We have to think about the things we did wrong and not repeat them in the future," said the Argentinian.



"We have three games left, and we have a big opportunity to take points, because we have two games at home.



"We now have Birmingham, and we have to be strong. Against Liverpool we didn't have any luck - nothing came off for us.



"We just need to continue to work hard in every game and hopefully we will get the luck in the next few games.



"What happened at Liverpool is disappointing but we can't dwell on it for too long."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album