CAPTAIN Steven Gerrard refused to be too downbeat after taking it to the last match of the season and believes the youngsters in the Liverpool squad can help move the club forward next season.
He said: “We can’t be too down. It’s been a fantastic season and we need to bounce back next year and try to go one better.
“It’s took me till I’m 33 to get the experience of a proper title race so the experience of these young lads in the squad is going to be vital. There’s a lot of ability in the squad, it’s grown and it’s moving forward and hopefully we can improve.
“We have to congratulate Manchester City. They’ve been the best over the 38 games so congratulations to them.”
On his own fitness, the 33-year-old England midfielder was confident his body would let him know when is the right time to bow out, but stressed that time is not now.
He added: “I can certainly play at this level for another year, for sure because I feel so fit and so strong - even though I’m getting on. But the idea for me is to carry on until my legs pack in. I’ll know when the day comes but it’s not here just yet.”
Liverpool, who finished two points off champions City, secured automatic entry to next season’s Champions League group stages and scored 101 goals in the process.
Gerrard admitted the top four was Liverpool’s target at the begining of the season and he was delighted they came so close to clinching their first league title in 24 years.
He said: “Yeah it was the target, if someone asked me would we go to the last day in the title race, I wouldn’t have believed them. It was our target all the way through - top four - but after going on the run of 11 wins, we got a bit of belief and we started dreaming and we give it our best shot.
“Unfortunately we fell short of it but if that point at Crystal Palace (where they drew 3-3 on Monday) or the three points today got us into the top four we’d be celebrating for weeks now.”