Gerrard - Just the first step

Midfielder looking beyond Carling Cup final to further success

Steven Gerrard: Confident Liverpool can beat Cardiff and then go on to greater success

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Steven Gerrard believes victory over Cardiff in the Carling Cup final could provide a springboard for another successful period at Liverpool.

The Reds have been trophyless since winning the FA Cup in 2006 but there is a growing feeling that a win at Wembley on Sunday may just be a pivotal point in terms of bringing the glory days back to Anfield.

And Gerrard has told his team-mates it is an opportunity they can not afford to pass up.

"I'm hoping this is just the beginning for us," said the England midfielder.

"It would be stupid to win the Carling Cup and then rest on our laurels.

"This is an important cup for us but there are other big prizes we want to strive for.

"I honestly believe winning this cup will be the catalyst for a successful period for the club; it will certainly give us the belief and confidence to deliver more.

"That's what happened back in 2001. We picked up the League Cup and then went on win the treble.

Hat-trick

"It gave us the confidence to go and win more trophies. Momentum builds and it gives everyone a taste of success.

"We're still in the FA Cup and challenging for a top-four place in the league.

"There's no doubt winning the Carling Cup would have a really positive effect on us for the rest of this season - it would drive us on to achieve more."

Gerrard will be appearing in his fourth League Cup final, winning in 2001 and 2003 but finishing on the losing side against Chelsea in 2005.

"I'm going for the hat-trick. That's my goal," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I'll be doing everything I can on Sunday to ensure we come away from Wembley with that cup on our bus."

Gerrard revealed the third of those cup finals, in which he scored an own goal as Liverpool lost 3-2 to Chelsea after extra-time at the Millennium Stadium, left him feeling "suicidal".

He told various newspapers: "I was linked with Chelsea for a while before that final. So to score an own goal and lose was a nightmare for me.

"There were Liverpool fans who probably thought I meant the own goal at the time.

"I felt suicidal. It was one of the worst days I have had, especially coming against Chelsea."

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