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Gerrard: We deserve to be out
25 Nov 2009 - 08:22:57
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has called on his team-mates to concentrate on winning this season's Europa League after the Reds were dumped out of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Despite beating Debrecen 1-0 in Hungary thanks to David N'Gog's first-half goal, Fiorentina's victory over Lyon confirmed that Liverpool would finish third in the group.
Gerrard tried to put a brave face on the situation, despite the major setback, saying: "The disappointing thing was having to rely on other teams going into tonight.
"We've played fantastically well tonight and deserved the three points, so it's disappointing that we won't progress in the Champions League.
"You get what you deserve in this competition and the two late goals we conceded against Lyon have been crucial. But it's gone now - it's in the past and we've got to move on.
"We're in the Europa League and we'll go and try to win it.
"Tonight's performance was encouraging and we can build on that. We've got a lot of players coming back from injury so hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here.
"But the main prize has gone now. When you start the season, you want to stay in the Champions League as long as possible, so to be playing in the Europa League is disappointing. But we have to accept that, move on and go and try and win it.
"The only consolation from losing out on the Champions League is to go and win the one that comes second.
"It's important we finish in the top four, that goes without saying. For financial reasons, but also from a personal point of view it is important for players to play in the Champions League because it's the best level.
It's important we go to Everton on Sunday, try to get the three points and get ourselves back in the top four as soon as possible.
"Now that we've got the majority of the squad back fit, I'm very confident we can turn things around and go on a long run of winning games. Hopefully (Fernando) Torres is not too far away and then we'll have everyone back fit and go from there."