LIVERPOOL captain Steven Gerrard has warned his team-mates they cannot afford any more mistakes if they are to secure Champions League football next season.
After seven defeats – five more than in the whole of the previous Barclays Premier League campaign – the Reds’ hopes of a top-four place appeared to be slipping away even seven weeks ago.
However, since losing at Portsmouth on December 19, Rafael Benitez’s side have put together a seven-match run of five wins and two draws to move back up to fourth.
Tomorrow they go to Arsenal, where they have not won in the league for a decade, and victory at the Emirates would put Liverpool just two points behind the third-placed Gunners with a trip to Manchester City next on the fixture list.
But having come unstuck at places like Tottenham, Sunderland, Fulham and Fratton Park this season Gerrard said the team had to build on the weekend’s victory over Everton in the 213th Merseyside derby.
“Everybody is still on a high and now we have got to take that high into the next game,” he said.
“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 as we can’t afford any slip-ups because there is pressure coming from Tottenham, Manchester City and Aston Villa.”
Gerrard added. “We showed fantastic togetherness (against Everton), we fought for each other and that’s why I am really proud of this team.
“It’s performances like this that will get you in there (the top four).”
Liverpool have kept six clean sheets on their current unbeaten run but go to the Emirates without the in-form Sotirios Kyrgiakos as he begins a three-match ban for his sending-off against Everton.
Fortunately for Benitez, Daniel Agger made a timely return to the starting line-up at the weekend after a month out injured.
“It has been annoying. I’ve done my best trying to play but it has been really difficult,” said Agger.
“It is so frustrating but you have to accept it is part of the game even though my injuries have not been that many, just big.”
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