Steven Gerrard in optimistic mood over Liverpool's future ahead of Everton clash

The Merseyside derby takes place this Sunday

Everton may be ahead in the league table but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists the bigger picture points to a brighter Reds future.

The two teams meet in the 220th Merseyside derby on Sunday and a first win at Anfield since 1999 would guarantee the Toffees finish above their near-neighbours this term.

Gerrard suggests, however, that while Everton are close to achieving their aim this season Liverpool are a long way from theirs.

"Yes, Everton have been consistent, but they are still only sixth," said the midfielder.

"They have had a good season but maybe their targets were slightly different to others around them in the table.

"For real consistency, the example has to be Manchester United. Not Everton.

"Liverpool, though, is my main concern. Our target at the start of the season was the top four so it's clear our consistency hasn't been good enough.

"I'm not really a stats man, I prefer to look at the bigger picture, but if you look at our amount of goals and clean sheets, it's clear we are moving in the right direction.

"It's not all gloom and doom. We've played some fantastic stuff this season, and besides a handful of games we've always been in with a shout."

Gerrard believes the January arrivals of striker Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan significantly impacted the team, which up to that point had been heavily reliant on Luis Suarez's goals.

"I don't really like jumping ahead but for me there's a lot of optimism," he told the Liverpool Daily Post.

"When you make signings you need to contribute. If they are attacking players, you need them to score and set up goals and be better than we already have.

"Sturridge and Coutinho are both signings for the starting XI, and they can both be even better next season.

"I'm convinced they will be two big players for us.

"And if you add another striker to that and you have Luis coming back (from a 10-match ban), then that's the firepower we need to be challenging nearer to the top four.

"In fact, if we had got in Sturridge and Coutinho at the start of the season then I think we'd have been right up there among the top four."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map