Gerrard looking for strong finish
Published 08/01/2013 | 16:00
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is confident the side will make big strides in the second half of the season and sneak into the "top positions".
The England midfielder stopped short of declaring they would make the top four to qualify for the Champions League again but that remains the ambition at Anfield. However, the 32-year-old admits they will have to find an answer to their inconsistencies if they are to have any chance of closing the seven-point gap to current fourth-placed side Chelsea.
"We didn't get off to the start we wanted this season but that was no surprise to me because there'd been a lot of change," Gerrard said.
"We had a completely new coaching set-up and there were a few new players coming in, as well as a few players going out. My experience of football is that when that amount of change takes place, it takes time for everything to settle, for people to get used to each other, for us to get used to the manager's philosophy and how he wants us to play.
"My feelings now are that we're moving forward. I think that from now until the end of the season we'll make big strides and improve a lot. I'm pretty confident that you'll see us sneak into those top positions but it's all about consistency, winning games, turning draws into wins and avoiding silly defeats.
"That's what we've got to try and eliminate from our game."
One player who has enjoyed a dream start for the Reds is new signing Daniel Sturridge, who scored just seven minutes into his debut in Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup win at Mansfield. That strike will ease some of the pressure on the £12million signing from Chelsea, who is short of match fitness having not played for two months.
Sturridge almost moved to Anfield in the summer but manager Brendan Rodgers wanted more time to evaluate the player before committing to a permanent deal.
"It's amazing for the manager to put such faith in me. The only way I can repay him is by doing a job on the football field," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"For him to pay money for me and to have faith in me and show everybody around the world that he is prepared to take a chance on me, I don't think I'll ever be able to repay him for that."