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â€¢ ‘We won’t give up on the top four until it’s impossible’
â€¢ Hat-trick against Everton secured first win in four games
Steven Gerrard has not given up on Liverpool making a late charge for a Champions League spot despite the club lying 10 points behind Arsenal in fourth with 10 games of the season remaining.
Gerrard scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Everton at Anfield on Tuesday evening in the Merseyside derby to end a sequence of three consecutive league defeats and the captain said of the prospects of securing Champions League football next term: “It’s a mountain to climb but we will never give up.
“We just have to try to win as many games as we can and see where it takes us. We won’t give up on the top four until it’s impossible. You can talk about luck, things not going your way, but you have to take responsibility for putting the ball in the back of the net and against Everton it worked out for us.
“The performances have been really good. The big picture is that the squad is a lot stronger and we are moving forward. But unless we can get the ball in the back of the net and have an end product we are going to find [ourselves] sixth or seventh in the league and that’s not what we want. It feels good and it’s nice to get a hat-trick but I’m not really interested in personal achievements. What’s important to me is that we move up the league and we get to Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup.”
Kenny Dalglish’s side host Stoke City in the FA Cup quarter-finals and Gerrard said of the challenge of completing a cup double following their Carling Cup triumph over Cardiff City last month: “It’s a massive game and we need to treat it like the cup final, it’s as simple as that. We need to put in a big performance because we want to take the supporters down to Wembley for a second time. It would be a fantastic achievement if we could get to Wembley twice.”
Pepe Reina echoed Gerrard’s sentiments. “This derby win came at a special moment for us,” the Spaniard said. “We have been through a weak spell in recent weeks, but that’s what the Premier League is about. The teams around us have been having ups and downs. It’s up to us to recover and get back on track. This team I can guarantee has plenty of character and we have another game on Sunday. The derby win has been a really big boost for us.
“Sunday’s game is perhaps the most important game of the season for us. It will be a cup final for us. It is another opportunity for us to get back to Wembley [for the semi-finals], and that means a lot for us and for the club. To take one more step closer to a trophy is an opportunity for us. We have to play our best, and playing at Anfield is something we can take confidence from.”