Gerrard - Cups will save season

Reds star eyeing double success

Steven Gerrard: Insists that Liverpool's season can be considered a success if they reach two cup finals, despite their struggles in the league

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's season can be considered a success if they follow up their Carling Cup win with a place in the FA Cup final.

The Merseysiders' progress in the cup competitions has been the main bright spot in a season dogged by inconsistencies in their league form.

Kenny Dalglish's men began the campaign with realistic hopes of a UEFA Champions League place after a summer of heavy investment.

However, a run of just two wins from 14 league games has seen them drop to eighth in the table - below near neighbours Everton.

February's Carling Cup win over Cardiff was a highlight amongst the Anfield gloom and a win over their Mersey rivals on Saturday will see them reach yet another Wembley showpiece.

Gerrard acknowledges that Liverpool's league form has not been good enough but the campaign can be salvaged if they can reach the FA Cup final

"Everyone's frustrated with the league position, we won't hide that fact," he said. "The simple facts are our league campaign hasn't been good enough.

Under-delivered

"We're all frustrated and the players have under-delivered in the league, all of us.

"Not just the new signings, not just certain individuals, all of us have under-delivered in the league but we've done fantastically in the cups.

"We had three targets at the beginning of the season. One was top four and then we wanted to have two cup runs and I think we've done fantastically well.

"There's one more big hurdle to get over and to deliver two cup finals would be an unbelievable achievement.

"I think if this team, this squad, delivers two major cup finals in one season, it can turn the season into a success."

Liverpool have an impressive recent record against their near neighbours, having lost just four times since the turn of the century, and they go into the game as favourites.

Form

However, it is the Toffees that go into the encounter in better form, having won four and drawn one of their last five matches.

Gerrard, though, feels Liverpool's Wembley win back in February has given the squad the necessary big game experience to ensure yet another derby victory.

"I think it will help us having been to Wembley. It was a lot of our squad's first experience of being there so that experience can only help us," he added.

"The Carling Cup run has helped us and given us a taste of Wembley and that is the reason why we have done so well in the FA Cup as well.

"I don't think we played well against Cardiff and I think some players will learn that sometimes when you go to Wembley you have to forget about the occasion and what is going on around you.

"We were maybe guilty of thinking about the occasion rather than the game."

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