STEVEN Gerrard has warned Liverpool fans that they must be realistic and forget about winning the Premier League title.
After a week which saw Liverpool dumped out of the Carling Cup by League Two Northampton and Roy Hodgson facing ever increasing pressure, Gerrard has told supporters to pitch their expectations far below the Anfield norm.
"A realistic target is to try and get back in the top four," he said. "Winning the title is a possibility because there's a chance it can happen. But realistically, our focus is to finish in the top four.
"If we finish first, second or third, fantastic, great, and we certainly won't give up on that, we'll fight all the way to the end.
"But at the start of the season, you have targets and from a realistic point of view, after finishing seventh last season, our target was always to get back in the top four."
With only one victory from five games in the league for Liverpool and languishing in 16th place, the top four is beginning to look a long way off.
But Gerrard feels an obligation to talk Liverpool's chances up.
"I was down yesterday morning," he said. "I was upset, frustrated, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I've got to look forward, I'm captain of the team."