Liverpool can qualify for Champions League says Steven Gerrard

Liverpool drew 2-2 with champions Manchester City at the weekend

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists a top-four place remains within their reach and the next two months are likely to decide whether they qualify for the Champions League this season.

A 2-2 draw against Manchester City - for the second time this season a defensive mistake costing them victory against the champions - provided hope for the remainder of the campaign.

And although Liverpool are still nine points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Gerrard is optimistic that gap can be reduced.

In the next nine weeks Spurs are the only side who are above them with other matches against West Brom, Swansea, Wigan, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Ham and Reading - particularly significant as the Reds have yet to beat any team currently in the top half.

"It's certainly up there with our best performance of the season," Gerrard said.

"We can take a lot of belief from the way we've performed against Arsenal (also 2-2 last Wednesday) and Manchester City.

"We need to build on this and I'm feeling really confident about our ability to move up the table.

"We might not have got the results we wanted against the top sides but every time we have certainly matched them if not bettered them in games.

"We just need to try to cut out our mistakes and turn those draws into wins.

"No disrespect to the sides we've got coming up but if we keep playing like that then we can certainly put in a challenge for fourth place.

"If we perform like that we will pick up a lot of points between now and the end of the season."

The arrival of Daniel Sturridge last month in a £12million move from Chelsea has provided the necessary spark manager Brendan Rodgers would have wanted.

Not only has he eased the pressure on Luis Suarez but the 23-year-old has already made an impact with four goals in his first six appearances, including a brilliant equaliser against City.

His movement and direct running has given the side another dimension and Gerrard was quick to recognise that contribution.

"The team is looking really strong at the moment," the England captain told the Liverpool Echo.

"Before the transfer window we were lacking a bit up front as Luis Suarez was almost having to do two jobs.

"But now Daniel Sturridge has come in and given us more options going forward.

"Daniel has done brilliantly for us so far."

Rodgers, having instilled a new way of working following his arrival at Anfield last summer, believes the players are finally starting to see the fruits of their labours.

He knows, however, for them to have long-term success they have to eradicate errors like the one which saw goalkeeper Jose Reina race from his goal only to be beaten by Sergio Aguero from the narrowest of angles to make it 2-2.

"That is all part of our growth but what was important for me was to see the confidence in the players and the desire and the quality," he said.

"They showed great character. We maybe are missing two or three players who can really help the group that clubs like Manchester City have but you can't fault the players.

"Going forward that is a positive for us. Once we cut out those mistakes then draws will turn into wins and we can become a real force because we have some really talented players.

"We are growing and building and our template in the game is improving all the time."

While the younger players are starting to impress more it was the 30-something stalwarts Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, back in the side for an extended run, who the Reds boss admits remain vital to their development.

"I thought they were brilliant," he added.

"Carragher marshalled the defence and put in two big performances in two big games (having played against Arsenal on Wednesday).

"He was up against top players - Aguero is one of the best in the world - and Steven Gerrard you have just seen him get better and better as the season has gone on once he has got a grasp of what we are trying to do.

"The senior players are vital for us. We have a lot of young, talented players who are going to need time to grow but whilst they are growing we have senior players who have been outstanding."

PA

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor