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Carragher: 'If stars want to leave Liverpool, we're better off without them'

Jamie Carragher (pictured) is bracing himself for a summer of discontent at Liverpool.

The long-serving Reds defender is currently in Austria preparing for the World Cup, having come out of retirement, partly to provide himself with a challenge as fortunes have dipped on the club front.

But life at Anfield is never too far from the 32-year-old's thoughts. And Carragher is acutely aware that, after recording a disappointing seventh-placed finish under Rafael Benitez this season, the critics who love nothing better than taking a bite out of Liverpool are starting to bear their teeth.

"I know what it is like after a poor season. There is a lot of negativity," he said. "We have had it all season and I am sure we will have it again throughout the summer.

"Obviously I want to enjoy the World Cup and do well. But I can't wait to get back to Liverpool and try to put it right."

The depths to which Liverpool have startlingly plummeted are shown up starkly in the knowledge that their return to action will come during July for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, exactly the same stage as Fulham entered this term.

Little wonder there is talk of big names moving on.

Benitez might have committed himself to the club after strong links with Juventus, but the futures of star men Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres continue to be discussed, along with combative midfielder Javier Mascherano.

With uncertainty over the club's ownership position continuing to linger, Reds fans could be forgiven for being severely worried about the months ahead. However, Carragher insists they have no need. "I want the people to come back who want to be there," he said.

"If anyone doesn't want to be here, no problem. No-one is bigger than Liverpool Football Club.

"People always talk about players leaving and saying 'this is the end of Liverpool'. No chance.

"Better players than the ones we have now have left and we have replaced them."

Carragher added: "I am just emotionally involved with it. Being a local lad, it is that big for me. I am sure we will do well next season."