Gerrard says Liverpool will learn from title race

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The Independent Football

Steven Gerrard believes the experience of competing with Manchester United for the Premier League title this season will increase his team's chances of finally winning the trophy next year.

"To win the Premier League you have to have had experience of being involved in a title race," Gerrard told his club's website. "Let's hope the experience we've gained this year will help us go one better next season.

"Obviously we were unfortunate not to win the league, but we can take a lot of positives from this season moving forward."

With one game left to play, at home to Tottenham on Sunday, Liverpool are four points behind champions United. The Reds have lost just twice all season and have already amassed 83 points - a club record in the Premier League era. Liverpool haven't won the championship since 1990.

"We've put in some terrific performances this year and have performed well as a team," Gerrard said. "I think we can use this experience and take big confidence into next campaign. As far as trophies are concerned, we've finished empty handed, but I think we can be really proud of how we have performed. From maybe mid-December onwards we've shown Championship winning form."

Gerrard believes Liverpool's indifferent home form before Christmas proved critical. Consecutive home draws against Fulham, West Ham and Hull cost the side six points.

"They're key because if we had turned them into wins, we'd probably be champions or at least still in the race with one game to go," he said. "But that shows everyone how difficult this league is to win and that you need to perform immaculately at home and win all your games. To finish with 86 points would still be a fantastic achievement."

Since Rafael Benitez was appointed manager in 2004, Liverpool has struggled against other members of the so-called "big four," failing to win away at Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal, but that changed this season, with the Reds going undefeated against their main rivals.

"I think we can take belief from going to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates and remaining unbeaten," Gerrard said. "If we can take that confidence and belief into those games next season and perform in the same way, as well as turning the home draws into wins, I think we could be champions."