Carling Cup win can start new era: Liverpool skipper

2012-02-24 08:08

London – Liverpool go into Sunday’s Carling Cup final against Cardiff City hoping for a victory that could kick-start a golden era for the former kings of English football.

Liverpool have not won a trophy since they beat West Ham United for the 2006 FA Cup title and have not won the Premier League since the last of their 18 titles in 1990.

Usurped by Manchester United, who won their 19th league crown last season, The Reds are desperate to get back on track and a trophy in the first full season of their new owners would be the ideal start.

“Six years without a trophy for this football club isn’t good enough,” Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said.

“It’s been too long and everyone knows that. It’s time we delivered a trophy.

“Everyone knows the club has been through some tough times but we’re moving forward now. We’re all desperate to bring success back. It’s what we’re working so hard to achieve.”

Gerrard, who at 31 is in the last few years of a career in which he has won every domestic trophy with Liverpool, bar the league, said victory at Wembley Stadium could begin a real period of success.

“I’m hoping this is just the beginning for us,” he said.

“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 that 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 (Uefa Cup and FA Cup). It gave us the confidence to go and win more trophies. Momentum builds and it gives everyone a taste of success.

“If we win on Sunday, this group of players will experience what it’s like to walk around a stadium full of your supporters going wild. That buzz and the tingles that drives you on to want more.

“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.”

Liverpool’s director of football Damien Comolli said he sees similarities with what has happened at Tottenham Hotspur, his former club.

“I remember last year, Roberto Mancini (Manchester City manager) said before the (FA) Cup final that once you win the first one, it gives confidence to everybody.

“Man City came back and early on this season were absolutely flying. We had a similar experience at Spurs when we won the Carling Cup in 2008 against Chelsea. For me, that was the base for what has happened to Spurs since then.

“I am convinced Spurs have built their success on this – and hopefully the same thing can happen for us. If we could win and finish the season on a positive note afterwards, we’d start next season in fantastic shape.”

Liverpool are overwhelming favourites to win the trophy against Championship side Cardiff.

But former Liverpool striker Ian Rush said his old club would have to cope with the huge expectations on their shoulders.

“You have to be strong enough mentally to deal with that pressure,” he said.

“If you can’t put up with it mentally, then it’s going to be a problem.”

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