Kuyt calls for consistency
Published 07/03/2011 | 15:13
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt believes the players have proved they can compete with the Barclays Premier League's best teams but accepts they will not be successful without greater consistency.
The 3-1 victory over Manchester United, in which the Holland international scored his first Reds hat-trick, was their third successive home win over their arch-rivals.
In results between the current top four and Liverpool the Merseysiders' record is second only to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
They have secured 10 points from six matches against United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, while the Old Trafford club have taken 13 from a possible 21, including games against Liverpool.
The reason Kenny Dalglish's team are six points off of the Champions League places and 18 adrift of league leaders United is their woeful record against clubs currently below them.
Defeats to Blackpool (twice), Everton, Stoke, Newcastle, Wolves, Blackburn and West Ham have seriously damaged their campaign.
But in their remaining nine matches only three - Arsenal, City and Tottenham (the latter two at home) - are against teams above them and Kuyt has called for an all-round improvement.
"We want to win every game, we want to go on a run," he said.
"The aim for us is consistency. We have shown that we can compete with the best, but competing with the best is not enough to win things.
"We have beaten United, we have beaten Chelsea (twice) but we also want to beat the other teams as well.
"You need to win, with all respect, against the West Hams and the Wolves and the Blackpools.
"Everyone is working really hard every day to go forward, and hopefully we can show that West Ham (a 3-1 defeat) last week was a mistake and go on a run of winning games.
"That will be our motivation for the coming games.
"We all know getting into the top four will be really difficult, but Birmingham winning the Carling Cup means there will not be as many places in the Europa League for us to get, so we need to keep winning our games, and then we will see what happens."
And Kuyt believes the club can look forward to a brighter future.
"I think the owners (Fenway Sports Group) have shown by buying Suarez and Andy Carroll how positive they are," he added.
"The first thing the manager told us when he arrived (replacing Roy Hodgson in January) was that we had a lot of quality.
"And with the players who arrived in January and hopefully new players in the summer we have to compete with the best."
Kuyt was named man of the match yesterday for his three goals, from a combined total of seven yards.
However, the real star performer was fellow forward Luis Suarez, who had a hand in all three, particularly the opening goal when the Uruguay international beat four United players in the penalty area to present his team-mate with a tap-in.
The £22.8million signing from Ajax has played only four matches since his January transfer but has already shown he has the quality to replace departed former Kop hero Fernando Torres.
"It was very special to score a hat-trick, but I have to thank my team-mates, and especially Luis, who played brilliantly," said Kuyt.
"His influence since he arrived here is really good. He scored in his first game, he was very close to scoring against Wigan and he created a goal against West Ham for Glen Johnson.
"For him to be at his best after just a couple of weeks at the club is impossible.
"But he has shown the will he has to be a great player for Liverpool and I think there is a lot more to see and expect from him."
Kuyt, who has played as part of a front two more regularly under Dalglish, took his tally to nine for the season against United.
However, with the form of Suarez and the appearance of £35million club record signing Carroll off the bench for his debut after injury the Reds appear to, at last, have competition up front.
"I just want to be important for the club and the team and if the manager wants to play me up front I am more than happy to do it," said the 30-year-old.
"I think it is clicking well with Luis. I gave an assist to him and he gave a couple to me so it is working out quite well.
"And with Andy coming on for his first couple of minutes it looks very promising for the future.
"The manager has plenty of options up front, and hopefully the three of us can play well together."