Saturday, May 04, 2013

Gerrard: We'd Have Been In The Top Four If Sturridge & Coutinho Joined Earlier

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard believes that they would be pushing for a top four place this season had Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho signed at the start of the campaign.

The two January signings have had a huge impact at Anfield, especially in recent weeks and Gerrard believes they could have dragged them further up the league table given a longer season.

"I don't really like jumping ahead but for me there's a lot of optimism," the midfielder told Sky Sports.

"When you make signings you need to contribute. If they are attacking players, you need them to score and set up goals and be better than we already have.

"Sturridge and Coutinho are both signings for the starting XI, and they can both be even better next season.

"I'm convinced they will be two big players for us.

"And if you add another striker to that and you have Luis coming back (from a 10-match ban), then that's the firepower we need to be challenging nearer to the top four.

"In fact, if we had got in Sturridge and Coutinho at the start of the season then I think we'd have been right up there among the top four."

Liverpool face Everton on Sunday and Gerrard believes that the Toffees season is not in much better shape than their own, despite being further up the league table.

Yes, Everton have been consistent, but they are still only sixth," he said.

"They have had a good season but maybe their targets were slightly different to others around them in the table.

"For real consistency, the example has to be Manchester United. Not Everton.

"Liverpool, though, is my main concern. Our target at the start of the season was the top four so it's clear our consistency hasn't been good enough.

"I'm not really a stats man, I prefer to look at the bigger picture, but if you look at our amount of goals and clean sheets, it's clear we are moving in the right direction.

"It's not all gloom and doom. We've played some fantastic stuff this season, and besides a handful of games we've always been in with a shout."

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