Liverpool must build on Everton win says Gerrard

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The Independent Football

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is hoping the Merseyside derby win over Everton will get his side back on track for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Rafael Benitez's men have endured a difficult season so far with many experts questioning the team's credentials to finish in a Champions League qualifying spot.

But Saturday's victory over their city rivals has reignited their hopes - especially as the win came despite the first-half dismissal of Greece defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Next up for the Reds is a tricky trip to north London on Wednesday to face an Arsenal side still smarting from their 2-0 defeat to title rivals Chelsea yesterday afternoon.

Gerrard admitted the players were still on a high following the weekend win and he is hoping to maintain their momentum at the Emirates Stadium.

He told the club's official website: "Now we have got to take that high into the next game.

"It's a tough one, Arsenal away always is. But we have used beating Everton as a platform in the past and we've got to do it again.

"We want to extend our run and go on to better things."

The weekend triumph - and results elsewhere going their way - enabled Liverpool to climb back into the top four for the first time since October and Gerrard is hoping the players can reproduce the same battling performance which saw off Everton over the coming weeks.

He added: "We know there is a long way to go and we want to make sure we are in the top four at the end of the season.

"It's performances like this that will get you in there. We have got to try and keep this run going, as we can't afford any slip-ups. There is pressure coming from Tottenham, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

"There are a couple of very tough games coming up but if we can show what we have done in the last six games, I don't see why we can't maintain it."

Defeat at Stamford Bridge saw Arsenal slip nine points behind Chelsea, but full-back Gael Clichy insists they have not yet given up in the title race.

He told "It is even more complicated now to win the league but we have to keep fighting until the end.

"The rule in sport is when you want to be the best, after every defeat you have to ask the right questions to yourself and the team."

Chelsea, who are two points clear of Manchester United at the summit, will look to keep hold of top spot when they go to Everton.

Prior to the loss at Anfield, Everton were one of the form teams in the Premier League and defender Sylvain Distin is urging the players to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

"That's the way it is in England, there's a lot of games and you don't really have too much time to feel sorry for yourself, you have to refocus on the next game," he told evertonTV.

"It's going to be another big game and it's a big month so we have to turn the page and learn from our mistakes and carry on."

Aston Villa host United on Wednesday in another intriguing battle between top four hopeful and title challenger while Tottenham, themselves hoping to secure a place in Europe's elite club competition next season, go to struggling Wolves.

Birmingham will hope to maintain their surprising form at West Ham while Blackburn and Hull meet at Ewood Park with both clubs embroiled in the scrap to avoid relegation.

Tuesday's action is highlighted by Manchester City's home clash with Bolton.

Elsewhere, Sunderland go to rock-bottom Portsmouth, Fulham meet Burnley and Wigan host Stoke.