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Gerrard up for Cup run

STEVEN Gerrard has sent out a defiant message to anyone who wants to write off Liverpool: "It's very dangerous to bet against Liverpool, especially when our backs are to the wall."

Unfortunately for Gerrard, the only people listening are Romanian Europa Cup hopefuls Unirea Urziceni, who visit Anfield tonight But Gerrard refuses to downplay the Europa Cup and points to Liverpool's 2001 Uefa Cup win as evidence.

"Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I've lifted the UEFA Cup before," he said.

"It's a special trophy and 2001 was a superb final. Hopefully we can experience the same feeling this season.

"This season has been inconsistent and hasn't gone to plan. However, for me as captain and for the team, we've got one more trophy to lift. So we'll be giving everything to go all the way."

Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are the only remaining squad members who played in the 5-4 UEFA Cup final victory over Alaves nine years ago.

"I've always found in Europe that Liverpool have more problems against less well-known teams because of the surprise factor," continued Gerrard.

"To play Liverpool is a big game for Unirea and they'll be looking for a big upset and will be very dangerous. But Rafa Benitez will make sure that the team is prepared."

Benitez has also been making the best of a bad lot and talking up the poor relation of European competition.

"It will be a difficult competition, the only one we can win now, so we will try to do our best from the beginning. We have to progress, we have to win the first round and go forward because we might have Juventus, Valencia or Atletico Madrid."