Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is determined to make sure Graeme Souness' doomsday 'meltdown' is avoided.
Skipper determined to avoid doomsday 'meltdown' scenario
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he is determined to make sure Graeme Souness' doomsday 'meltdown' is avoided.
The former Reds manager spoke of his fears if Liverpool failed to make the top four this season after Rafa Benitez's side lost 2-1 to Fiorentina in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
Benitez has since said he is unfazed about the comments and now Reds skipper Gerrard says it is up to himself and his team-mates to make sure the doomsday scenario does not come true - starting against Arsenal on Sunday, in a game being shown live on Sky Sports 1
and Sky Sports HD1
Gerrard said: "Meltdown is for him to say, I can't predict that far ahead. But for me, as captain, I've got to make sure that doesn't happen.
"We're up for the challenge - there's no time for hiding.
"We need to get out there, roll up our sleeves and get this football club back where it belongs - that's as far up the league as possible.
"We're the players that are responsible for where we are in the league so we need to get it right. We must play better. We need to get back into a top-four position as soon as possible. It is the No.1 priority now.
"At the start of the season we had intentions of being in the title race, especially after finishing second last year.
"That was a big confidence boost. It gave us the belief we could fight all the way, but we've had a bad start. The idea now is to get people back fit, get back to full strength and start moving up the League.
"I'm confident we can do that if we get everyone back fit."
But Gerrard was equally honest about Liverpool's season up to date.
He added: "We've not been good enough. It's not puzzling at all to me that we're in this position.
"The league never lies. You're in that position for a reason.
"That tells me that we've not been good enough and consistent enough.
"It's down to me and the rest of the boys here to take responsibility and put that right."
Despite the loss against Fiorentina after conceding a last-gasp goal in Europe yet again, Gerrard says the Reds have taken a lot of positives from the game, not least the return of star striker Fernando Torres and the long awaited first start of Alberto Aquilani.
He added: "That game was all about preparation for Arsenal. Aquilani got some minutes on the pitch and Torres has returned, so we've a lot of positives to take from the game.
"Arsenal is a massive game, especially considering our League position.
"Every game now is massive - a Cup final if you like. It would be nice if we could get Fernando in from the start and get about Arsenal because I'm sure they fear us as much as we fear them.
"It's very difficult playing Arsenal because they are one of the best teams in Europe at passing the ball very quickly.
"We have to press them high up and try to force them into mistakes. If we stand off and let them play they'll kill us."