Steven Gerrard accepts Liverpool failings

 

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard accepts the squad have under-performed in the Barclays Premier League this season and knows only a consistent winning run can avoid them "finishing where they don't want to be".

Despite the obvious lift their 3-0 victory over Everton - courtesy of a Gerrard hat-trick - will give the Reds they remain 10 points adrift of Champions League qualification.

That was highlighted as the minimum requirement by principal owner John Henry at the start of the season but with a first trophy in six years back at Anfield there may yet be some leeway.

In truth there may have to be as it seems at this late stage, with just 10 matches remaining, overhauling the Gunners, Chelsea and Newcastle to nick fourth spot appears unlikely.

More realistic is adding a second trophy in the form of the FA Cup, with a quarter-final tie at home to Stoke coming up on Sunday, but Gerrard will not settle for abandoning their league ambitions.

"We need to find a level of consistency," said the England midfielder, who marked his 400th league match for the club in style.

"With the players we've got we should be higher in the league - it's as simple as that.

"We have been very inconsistent in the league. Against Arsenal we were fantastic and should have had the game wrapped up at half-time but ended up going home frustrated (losing 2-1). Then we never turned up at Sunderland last Saturday (losing 1-0).

"We put in a very good performance against Everton. That says it all. It's been the story of our season.

"The bigger picture is that the squad is a lot stronger and we are moving forward.

"But we need to go on a winning streak otherwise we'll find ourselves in a position in the league that we don't want."

Gerrard's treble was the first in an Anfield derby in almost 70 years while the last player to score a hat-trick in an encounter between the two near-neighbours was Ian Rush with four at Goodison Park in 1982.

However, the 31-year-old was quick to brush aside his name being mentioned alongside the club's all-time leading goalscorer.

"It feels good and it's nice to get a hat-trick but I'm not really interested in personal achievements," he added.

"What's important to me is that we move up the league and we get to Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup.

"Someone mentioned that Ian Rush was the last one (to get a hat-trick) - it's ridiculous comparing me to Ian Rush.

"First and foremost, it was vital to get a win and get a few goals.

"We've been criticised for not being clinical enough and rightly so.

"To get three goals and keep a clean sheet means there were a lot of positives for us to take."

Gerrard took each of his goals expertly, finding himself in the right place at the right time with two perfectly-timed runs allowing him to complete the feat in front of an adoring Kop in the second half.

His first was a delicate lobbed effort over the heads of goalkeeper Tim Howard and a number of Everton defenders after the visitors had failed to clear their lines.

The second owed plenty to Luis Suarez, who chased Jordan Henderson's pass into the inside right channel and skipped past Sylvain Distin to put the ball on a plate for his captain.

In added time Gerrard started and finished the move as he advanced and laid off to Suarez in the penalty area only to receive the ball back from the charitable Uruguay international.

Afterwards the Reds captain was keen to praise to his team-mates, particularly Suarez.

"It's a nice feeling to get a hat-trick but it doesn't really matter who scored. I must give credit to the whole team," he said.

"We defended really well, Jay Spearing was fantastic and Luis Suarez was very unselfish with the goals and showed why he's world class.

"Luis is very aware of what's around him. He is very unselfish and sacrifices himself for the team and that's a sign of a top player in my book so credit to him."

PA

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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003