FOOTBALL : Skipper Steven Gerrard insists that Liverpool can still salvage their season as they prepare for their make-or-break Champions League showdown with Debrecen in Budapest.
Skipper Steven Gerrard insists that Liverpool can still salvage their season as they prepare for their make-or-break Champions League showdown with Debrecen in Budapest.
The Reds, with one win in 10 games in all competitions, are seventh in the Barclays Premier League and face a Champions League exit on Tuesday when they face the Hungarian champions.
But Gerrard, who will almost certainly need another pain-killing injection in his groin to allow him to play in the Ferenc Puskas stadium, said: “The mood in the camp is really good, although we know our position in the table isn’t good enough. But we have faith in our ability. We know we can put things right.”
Only a Liverpool win and a Lyon victory away to Fiorentina on the same night, will save the Reds from elimination at the group stage – the first time that will have happened under boss Rafael Benitez.
He added: “It’s been a frustrating few weeks because as soon as I was fit we had the international break. I’ve been desperate to play and can’t wait to really get going properly again.”
Gerrard started his first game in a month on Saturday when Liverpool drew 2-2 at home to Manchester City, and he is expected to continue in the side in Budapest despite problems with cramp in his calf muscles at the weekend.
Fernando Torres has been ruled out again by Benitez, who says: “He will not travel. But we will monitor him closely, although we are not sure whether he can play at Everton next weekend.”
Liverpool have doubts over Daniel Agger (cut head) and Ryan Babel (ankle), but Yossi Benayoun, Fabio Aurelio, Albert Riera and Glen Johnson are expected to travel after injuries.