Reds ready to catch fire

Skipper Gerrard plots victory against rivals United to finally ignite Pool's stuttering season

Conleth Torrington

STEVEN Gerrard wants to kick-start Liverpool's season by beating Manchester United tomorrow in a game he insists remains the world's biggest football fixture.

The Reds go into the showdown with the Anfield club still searching for their first league victory of 2012-13.

Gerrard insists Liverpool are not far away from clicking into gear -- and believes with the support of the Anfield crowd behind them, they can notch their first three points of their campaign against United.

"For me, it's the biggest (game) because the Premier League is the biggest league in the world and these are the two most successful clubs," he said.

"I'm not being biased when I say that -- I think Liverpool versus Man U is the biggest game. Maybe Barca and Madrid is up there close to that, but for me it's still this one.

"It's a massive game -- we're looking for our first (league) win of the season and there would be no-one better for us to start getting three points on the board (against).

"Hopefully then we can go on a run of winning games and move up the league because our start to the season has been inconsistent."

Spirited performances against Manchester City and Sunderland deserved far more than just the draws they yielded, though Gerrard accepts the Reds were below par in the defeats by West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal.

He said: "I think we've been really close to that win. At West Brom, we weren't good enough and didn't deserve anything out of the game. The sending off was a big turning point.

"We were magnificent against Man City and should have won that game comfortably. At Sunderland it was the same and we should have had a win, so we should have six points on the board now.

"We didn't deserve anything against West Brom and Arsenal, so it's important that we try and find those three points as soon as possible and if you could pick one team in the league who you want to get that first win against, of course it would be United on Sunday.

"A win would give the team huge belief and confidence moving forward. I don't think this team is far away from clicking.

"We've shown signs we are a good team and it'll come sooner rather than later, that's what I believe."

Gerrard, who has faced United on 28 occasions, is fully aware of what it takes to triumph on these occasions and feels individual errors can often prove the difference between victory and defeat.

"It's difficult to put your finger on one thing and say that's the key (to winning)," he explained. "It's two good sides, I think United are going to be favourites because of the way they've started in the league and we're yet to win a game.

"But with our support behind us at Anfield and the timing of this game, I'm confident that if we play well we can take maximum points.

"These games boil down to small details and whoever makes the least mistakes. I think it will be a little bit cagey early on and it's usually an individual mistake that wins or loses you these games. Let's hope that it's not one of our players."

United head into the weekend in second place in the Premier League table with nine points from four games.

However, they began their season with a 1-0 defeat at Everton and Gerrard feels a similar game-plan to that of the Blues' could prove rewarding.

"Everton played at a very high tempo in that game and the supporters got behind the team, which gave them a huge advantage," said the captain.

"If we can do that -- with our fans behind us and playing at a tempo we're comfortable with -- it will put Manchester United on the back foot and that's usually when we can force the opposition into mistakes.


"We need to capitalise on that and take our chances. I don't think there will be many chances in the game at either end, so we need to be ready for our chances when they come along."

Gerrard will go into this weekend's game having been afforded a rest from the midweek Europa League trip to Switzerland to face Young Boys.

The 32-year-old feels his own personal form has followed a similar pattern to that of the team's so far this season, but is confident he'll soon be back to his best.

"It's been similar to the team -- I played well against Man City and at Sunderland, but didn't play well against Arsenal and West Brom. My form has been similar to the team -- it needs to improve, but I'm not far away," he added.

"I've played in a couple of different positions, so I have to try and adapt to the role the manager has asked of me. The role he asked me to play at Sunderland is similar to the one I've been playing for England, so I'm quite comfortable there."