Carragher wants Europa spot

Image: Carragher: Hopes to finish in fifth this season

Jamie Carragher insists it will be beneficial for Liverpool to finish in the Europa League spots.

Reds stalwart claims continental competition is of great benefit

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher insists it will be beneficial for the club to qualify for the Europa League. The 33-year-old Reds icon led the Merseysiders out against Newcastle on Sunday in the absence of Steven Gerrard as they romped to a 3-0 victory at Anfield. It means Kenny Dalglish's side climbed into fifth ahead of Tottenham on goal difference after Spurs slipped to defeat at Chelsea, but still have a game in hand. Many fans and observers have suggested that it may be better for the long-term future of Liverpool if they avoid next year's Europa League but Carragher believes that is a mindset at odds with the club's mentality. "I know there is a lot of talk about whether people want us to finish fifth but, for me, Liverpool is European football," he said. "That's what the club is about, and I'm desperate for us to get it. "It is another trophy to go for. I'd have loved to have been in Dublin (for this season's final) in a couple of weeks - that would have been fantastic for us and fantastic for the supporters. "If we keep winning games, we've got a good chance of qualifying, but Tottenham will probably feel the same, and I think (the Spurs game on May 15) will be a great game now. "It is important for the team to keep winning and maintain the feel-good factor. "It hasn't been a great 18 months really for the club, it has been tough. "Now, though, we can start to enjoy ourselves and go into games expecting to win."

Recovery time

He added: "Of course I can understand why fans would not want us to be in the Europa League and [as players] playing Thursday and Sunday doesn't give you much time to recover. "Realistically the manager would use the squad to start with and it would be good for the young players to get European experience as well. "And I am sure we will be adding some new players to the squad next season so we would have a bigger squad than we have now and more players could be involved, playing more games. "When you are only playing every Saturday it is difficult to keep players happy because you don't change the team so much so you end up having 10 or 12 unhappy players. "Sometimes having more games can keep everyone happy at the club." Carragher is poised to become Liverpool's second-highest appearance maker next Monday having gone level with Emlyn Hughes and Ray Clemence on 665 this weekend. "It is something to look back on at the end of your career - just to be anywhere near these people is a great honour for me," he remarked. "For now I want to look forward, to get more appearances, and hopefully help the club do well and win trophies."

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