Dalglish: No distractions for Reds
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is confident his side will be fully focused on the task when they host Brighton in the FA Cup fifth round and not distracted by thoughts of the Carling Cup final.
Last month the Reds suffered a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Bolton days before the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City. If it appeared that Dalglish's players' minds had not entirely been on the job at the Reebok Stadium, the Scot insists there is no danger of that being the case for the clash with the Seagulls, which comes a week ahead of the Wembley final against Cardiff.
''There's no-one here who enjoyed what happened at Bolton and I wouldn't see any reason why anyone would want to repeat that,'' Dalglish said. ''Every one of them wants to get into the next round but they can't expect that if they repeat the Bolton performance.
''I think they have got that Bolton game out of their system now. If they don't play as well as they're capable of it's not because the final is coming the following week. The target for us is to progress into the next round of the FA Cup.''
Dalglish feels the FA Cup has been ''undermined'' over the last few seasons but wants to make it clear that Liverpool are taking it seriously.
''The competition has been a bit undermined in recent years, to be perfectly honest,'' he said. ''For us, it's a pride you take in your football club. If you're playing a game you want to win it.
''Every game we have played this season in every competition we have taken very seriously.''
Brighton bnoss Gus Poyet believes the clash with Liverpool will give him a good indication of how his players cope with the big stage. This time his team are unbeaten in seven Championship matches and Poyet sees the game as the perfect opportunity to see which of his players are up to the task.
''It will be interesting to see which players show that they can perform against Premier League players so it will be a good game for me too keep checking the progress of my squad,'' the Uruguayan told the club's official website.
''If we were to go up within the next few years this fixture will help me realise which players can perform in the top division.
''We will play our own game and not change at all and we'll have to see where that gets us. On Tuesday night against Millwall we were satisfied with the point (in a 2-2 draw) after the game because we were awful.''
Although Liverpool are pushing for a European place in the Premier League and are at home, Poyet is determined not to change his side's approach.
''This is a great opportunity for us, a great moment for the players and we are not going to try nothing different, we are going to be ourselves and see the outcome,'' he added.
''We will try to be a proper team, try to be organised, try to play our football and see what happens. They are the favourites, they are the better team, they are stronger and they have international players, but in football you never know.
''We are going to play, we have nothing to lose, but that doesn't mean we are going to go there and be a joke. We are going to try and be ourselves, the result is unpredictable.''