Kuyt: Reds need to keep going

Dirk Kuyt insists Liverpool still have plenty of unfulfilled potential as they prepare to step up their quest for a cup double with an FA Cup quarter-final against Stoke City.

Kenny Dalglish's side ended a six-year wait for a trophy when they beat Championship side Cardiff City in the League Cup final on penalties last month. Despite their cup success, the Reds are ten points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal and are facing the prospect of a third consecutive year outside the UEFA Champions League.

Dalglish's men were held to a goalless draw by Stoke at Anfield in January and it is that kind of frustrating result that explains why the Reds are off the pace in the Premier League in spite of heavy investment in new players.

Netherlands forward Kuyt, 31, believes Liverpool have shown what they are capable of in flashes but must produce more consistently. "We've made a great spell of progress," he said. "It's never easy when a lot of new players are coming into the club. You have to fit them into the team.

The FA Cup is something special and it would be great to win it.
Dirk Kuyt, Liverpool forward

"But we have a quality group of players, not only 11 players but a great squad. We beat United, we beat Arsenal, we have beaten Everton twice, but it's true that we dropped too many points in other games and that's what we're trying to change. I'm sure we will be OK in the future, we have just got to keep going like this.

"Sometimes we've been a little bit unlucky. People are talking lots about us hitting the post but that's behind us now, you have to look forward. The FA Cup is something special and it would be great to win it."

Daniel Agger is still out with a rib problem, Glen Johnson is doubtful with a sore hamstring and Craig Bellamy could also miss out after being absent from the 3-0 win over Everton in midweek.

Dalglish feels that Liverpool's recent trip to Wembley does not give them an advantage over a Stoke side that reached the final of this competition last year. "Stoke have been to Wembley too, they've tasted it before and they know what the rewards are and how much they enjoyed it, although they lost the final," he said.

"We've been to Wembley as well, we enjoyed it and we want to go back. We've been, we've tasted it. But every one of the eight teams have the same incentive, to get to Wembley. Whether you've been before and want to go back or you've never been and have got the hunger to get there, it doesn't make any difference."

Pulis hopeful of upset
Stoke have not won at Anfield since 1959. However, manager Tony Pulis insists they can still go there with confidence, having beaten them at the Britannia Stadium and claimed a creditable point in their Premier League matches this season.

"We've watched them the last few weeks and they were desperately unlucky to lose to Arsenal, that game should have been over in the first 45 minutes. I went and watched the derby on Tuesday night and I thought they were outstanding.

"This will be the fourth time we've played them this season and they've always been tight games and good games. They're obviously favourites and rightly so but we'll do our best, as we always do.

"It gives us heart that we've played them three times and given them a good run for their money on three occasions, and that will be the theme this week. If we can just raise the bar a little bit again then, if things go for us, we might get the result everybody in Stoke-on Trent wants."