Gerrard issues a gee-up to his Liverpool colleagues

 

Having banished the unease around Liverpool with the first hat-trick in a Merseyside derby in 30 years, Steven Gerrard urged his team-mates to take responsibility for their own performances.

While his manager, Kenny Dalglish, has with some justice talked about the ill luck of a side that has struck the frame of the goal 21 times this season, Gerrard said the ultimate test was whether Liverpool could put the ball in the back of a net. They faced Everton with the lowest shots-to-goals ratio of any Premier League team.

"You can talk about luck and things not going your way but you have to take responsibility for putting the ball in the back of the net," the Liverpool captain said. "The performances have been really good. The big picture is that the squad is a lot stronger and we are moving forward. However, unless we have an end product, we are going to find ourselves sixth or seventh in the league and that is not what we want."

It has been a trait of Dalglish's first full season back at the helm that Liverpool have raised their game for the grand occasions while performing wastefully and often woefully against clubs they might be expected to beat. They have knocked both Manchester clubs out of the FA and Carling cups and convincingly won at both Stamford Bridge and the Emirates Stadium. However, they have failed to beat Wigan and fell apart at Bolton. Unless Liverpool can make up a point a game on Arsenal in their final 10 fixtures, they will miss out on the Champions League for a third successive season.

"It is a mountain to climb but we will not give it up until it is mathematically impossible," said Gerrard. "At times against the teams outside the top four we have been inconsistent. To do well in this league, you need to beat the teams who are down there as well.

"The Premier League is getting stronger each year. You can't choose when you turn up. You can't be eight out of 10 one week and then deliver a two or a three, otherwise teams down there will beat you – as the games at Bolton and Sunderland showed. If you don't compete against these sides, you will be beaten."

When Gerrard paraded the Carling Cup at Anfield, there was a sense that it was not quite enough to make this a successful season at Liverpool, although were it to be combined with the FA Cup, the absence of the Champions League might not feel so acute. Overcoming Stoke, who have not won at Anfield since 1959, would guarantee a semi-final at Wembley.

"To take the fans down to Wembley twice would be a fantastic achievement," said Gerrard. "That is why we have to treat Sunday's game with Stoke as a cup final. It is as simple as that."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there