Gerrard calls for improvement
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted "enough is enough" after their poor start to the season and has called for the team to rise to the challenge which faces them.
Yesterday's 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers was only the Reds' second in the Premier League this campaign and, although it was not enough to lift them out of the relegation zone, it has put them within three points of seventh place.
Confidence has started to return to the squad, as demonstrated by the first 70 minutes against Rovers, and Fernando Torres has started scoring again. Gerrard knows the players now have to build on that performance, especially with four of their next five league matches being against Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Stoke City.
"The three points will have done wonders for everyone," said the England midfielder. "It is all about getting a sequence of results and we will find out now whether we are capable of doing it. That is the challenge for this team. If you do that, you will find yourself climbing the table really fast.
"Three or four wins on the bounce and you will find yourself in a very healthy position. It is early days and there are still plenty of games to play. If we play like we can at Bolton [next Sunday] we can do really well. Enough is enough - we want to put that sequence together."
After a run of seven matches without a win the players became understandably more edgy as the Blackburn game entered its final phase. Gerrard admitted that was because confidence had been affected by four league defeats in eight games.
"I think it's normal when you find yourself down in the bottom half of the table and it was just about the three points yesterday," added the 30-year-old. "The performance wasn't important it was just vital that we got a win. It was a big bonus that we were terrific for 70 minutes - more of that and I'm sure we'll climb the table really fast.
"It was disappointing to concede the goal but we showed tremendous character to come back and get the second goal. A lot of individual players came away with their confidence boosted and it was great to see Fernando get on the scoresheet and Joe [Cole] set him up."
The ownership issue has dominated things at Anfield this season but, now New England Sports Ventures have completed their £300million takeover, Gerrard hopes it will signal an improvement on and off the pitch.
"We have got to use the last two performances [Blackburn and the goalless UEFA Europa League draw against Napoli] as a fresh start but the last thing the players have done is hide behind the fact we've had a bit of an issue off the field," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"We find ourselves where we are in the league because we haven't been good enough. Of course it is nice and refreshing to know things are sorted out off the pitch and the fans are happy."