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May, 5, 2012

Gerrard: We'd still need to strengthen

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool will still need to sign new players this summer, even if they complete a cup double by winning the FA Cup against Chelsea on Saturday.

McAteer hopes Reds can handle Drogba

• Brewin: FA Cup final preview
• Werner reveals plans to spend
• Downing: Reds building great team
• Cahill and Luiz to miss final

Liverpool have been magnificent in knockout competitions this season, beating both Chelsea and Manchester City en route to the Carling Cup as well as overcoming Manchester United and Everton in order to reach the FA Cup final.

However, the club's league form has been dire. A tally of five home wins in 18 outings has seen the Reds drop to eighth in the table, and they are set to finish the campaign below Merseyside rivals Everton.

Gerrard and team-mate Jamie Carragher have stated their belief that victory in the FA Cup final would make for a "great" season, but the skipper does not want that to be misunderstood as an acceptance of the club's current standards.

"Let's be realistic - at the start of the season our chances of winning the Premier League were slim," Gerrard said. "We had Manchester City's power to contend with and Chelsea's power, Manchester United are always there, so we were probably fourth or fifth favourites at the time.

"But we had much better chances of going out and winning the Carling Cup and getting to the FA Cup final and that's what we've done. What it shows is that, if we do win the FA Cup, this squad still needs slight tweaking in the summer if we are to compete in the Premier League."

Gerrard is a realist when it comes to Liverpool's form. He refuses to try to find excuses for their poor league campaign, preferring instead to acknowledge that they simply have not been good enough.

"There's no point looking for excuses and complaining about that. We've under-delivered and underperformed in the league, simple, but we've been fantastic in the cups.

"We are hoping when we assess the season in a couple of weeks it will be with two trophies in the cabinet. That has got to breed confidence and belief into this squad and we have got to take that into next season."

Gerrard has often delivered in the biggest games for his club, with inspirational displays in the 2005 Champions League final and 2006 FA Cup final evidence of his talismanic presence, but he insists Liverpool's hopes do not rest solely on his shoulders at Wembley this weekend.

"We beat Everton in a massive game at Wembley not so long ago and I didn't get the goals, so we've certainly got players in and around the squad who can be match-winners," he said. "Not all the pressure's on me. It's up to everyone to deliver trophies for this club.

"Maybe the knockout nature of the cups has brought the best out of us this season, but what it also shows is that when we are down, under the cosh and under pressure, this team is never beaten."

Watch the final episode of ESPN's Fan Film series as the Chelsea and Liverpool fans get ready for the FA Cup final

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