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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard targets Champions League spot

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Updated 04 Feb 2013 15:47:20

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard targets Champions League spot

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists a top-four place remains within their reach and the next two months are likely to decide whether they qualify for the Champions League this season.

Liverpool are still nine points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham but Gerrard is optimistic that gap can be reduced. In the next nine weeks Spurs are the only side they face who are above them with other matches against West Brom, Swansea, Wigan, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Ham and Reading - particularly significant as the Reds have yet to beat any team currently in the top half.

Following Sunday's 2-2 draw with Manchester City, Gerrard said: "It's certainly up there with our best performance of the season. We can take a lot of belief from the way we've performed against Arsenal (also 2-2 last Wednesday) and Manchester City. We need to build on this and I'm feeling really confident about our ability to move up the table."

He went on: "We might not have got the results we wanted against the top sides but every time we have certainly matched them if not bettered them in games.

"We just need to try to cut out our mistakes and turn those draws into wins.

"No disrespect to the sides we've got coming up but if we keep playing like that then we can certainly put in a challenge for fourth place.

"If we perform like that we will pick up a lot of points between now and the end of the season."

The arrival of Daniel Sturridge last month in a £12million move from Chelsea has provided the necessary spark manager Brendan Rodgers would have wanted. Not only has he eased the pressure on Luis Suarez but the 23-year-old has already made an impact with four goals in his first six appearances, including a brilliant equaliser against City.

His movement and direct running has given the side another dimension and Gerrard was quick to recognise that contribution.

"The team is looking really strong at the moment," the England captain told the Liverpool Echo. "Before the transfer window we were lacking a bit up front as Luis Suarez was almost having to do two jobs. But now Daniel Sturridge has come in and given us more options going forward. Daniel has done brilliantly for us so far."


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