Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Southampton last weekend enabled them to capitalize on Arsenal’s 1-0 slip up against Stoke City and move them to the second place, four points behind league leaders Chelsea.
While everyone in the footballing world has now come out and said that Liverpool are definitely part of the title race, people inside the club have been coy on the matter and have maintained that getting to the Champions League remains the priority for the club. Brendan Rodgers called the Reds ‘Chihuahuas’ in the title race, and has only moved from his initial stance of fourth place being the ideal finish for Liverpool to Liverpool would try to finish as high up in the league as possible.
Club captain Steven Gerrard, however, has come out and talked of Liverpool being in the title race and having the virtue to compete for it as the club doesn’t have European commitments to distract them. Gerrard maintained that Liverpool were the underdogs in the challenge but commended Liverpool’s togetherness and team spirit which helped them to win the match against Southampton, one which was thought by many (including team members) as a match where the Merseyside club would drop points.
“It was nice to hear the fans singing about us being in the title race. But for us as players it’s just a case of staying calm and relaxed. We can’t get carried away.
“We are in the race, we have no other distractions and we believe we can compete for it, but there is still a long way to go. We’ve got some really important and difficult games coming up and we need to be focused.
“Everyone outside of the camp probably thought we would drop points at Southampton. Before the game, they will have looked at our fixtures and thought we would slip up in this one because it’s such a tough one.
“Southampton have taken points off some big teams at St Mary’s this season and our recent record against them wasn’t great.
“But there’s a great togetherness in this team. The spirit in the dressing room is something the manager has created. There is a lot of belief in the team. Games like the win at Southampton, coupled with what we’ve done at home recently to the likes of Everton and Arsenal, have fuelled that belief.
“There are other big teams fighting for the title and I wouldn’t say we are the favourites. In fact we are the underdogs.
“But confidence is high and with 10 games to go we’re in a great position. We have given ourselves a chance.”
Gerrard also spoke highly of teammate Luis Suarez, and hailed his contribution to the team:
“People had been talking about him going five games without a goal but his contribution to the team has never wavered. He is very unselfish. At times he’s been asked to play in a wider role and he has shown what a great team player he is.Even when he wasn’t scoring, he was still terrorising defenders and creating goals for us.
“It was a great way for him to celebrate 100 league games for the club. His record is phenomenal. All strikers go through spells where they don’t score but he’s back on the scoresheet now and hopefully there’s plenty more to come from him.
“After the quality of the finish for the first goal, it was a great assist for Raheem and then the way he earned the penalty just underlined the problems he caused them all game.”