Gerrard - Hard part over
Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool are in the box-seat despite struggling to a 1-0 win over Unirea Urziceni.
Last Updated: 19/02/10 12:53pm
Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool are in the box-seat to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League despite struggling to a 1-0 win over Unirea Urziceni on Thursday.
Rafa Benitez's side enjoyed the lion's share of possession at Anfield but could not unlock the Romanian champions' defence until David Ngog's close-range header secured the win just nine minutes from time.
The Reds will now travel to Bucharest in a week's time and Gerrard believes Unirea's need to attack in the second leg will play into the Merseysiders' hands.
"They were very stubborn but we expected that," the Liverpool captain said after the game.
"You could say maybe we needed to be a bit more clinical but I think we'll get more joy away from home.
"But we were patient and the goal came. They're going to have to come out and try and beat us in the second leg."
Like Liverpool, Unirea finished third in their UEFA Champions League group, and Gerrard knows they will have to beat some big names if they are to make the final in Hamburg.
"The teams knocked out of the Champions League are fantastic teams and some of the top sides across Europe are in the competition so it's going to be tough to win it but we're confident we can go all the way," added the Reds skipper.