Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina maintains that the Anfield club are a better side than they were last season.
Despite the Reds currently sitting eighth in the league table, the Spaniard insists that the Carling Cup triumph and an FA Cup final date are indicators of the progress made this season.
"There's no doubt we've improved from last season already," Reina told LFC Magazine. "We've won the Carling Cup with the possibility of a second while also qualifying for Europe.
"The target of the club is still to get back in the Champions League. But before the start of the season, if someone had said we'd win the Carling Cup, reach the final of the FA Cup, as well as getting seventh, probably most people would have taken that.
"It's always good to go back to winning days. Some people might say the Carling Cup is not that important but, at the end of the day, it's a trophy. We knocked out Stoke, Chelsea and Manchester City.
"It was not easy. So it was a well-deserved success and I was pleased to be part of it."
Reina also admitted that he was under the most pressure he had ever been in his time at Anfield for the number one jersey, after both Alexander Doni and Brad Jones staked claims for the position during the 29-year-old's recent suspension.
"This has been probably the most difficult period of my Liverpool career," he admitted. "They are breathing down my neck so I have to be up for it and do my best."