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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 8 hours ago
Read
May 11, 2014

Steven Gerrard: We'll bounce back

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes his side's near miss in the Premier League title race can act as a springboard to glory next season.

Daniel Sturridge has a simple tap-in to give Liverpool all three points against Newcastle.
Daniel Sturridge has a simple tap-in to give Liverpool all three points against Newcastle.

Delaney: Reds show character

Despite recording a 2-1 victory over Newcastle, the Reds finished two points behind Manchester City in the final standings after Manuel Pellegrini's men saw off West Ham 2-0.

While Gerrard, 33, was disappointed to miss out on a first title win of his career, he feels there are definitely plenty of positives to take out of the campaign.

"If someone had said to me that we would go into the last game with a slim chance of winning the league I'd have taken that at the start of the season, but as a footballer you always want more," Gerrard told BBC Sport.

"We have been unlucky. We gave it a great shot, but we fell a little bit short. What do we do? We dust ourselves down and go again.

"It took me until I'm 33 to really experience a proper, genuine title race. This squad is very young, and the experience those lads are going to gain from this rollercoaster is going to be very important. I believe the title is not too far away if we continue to produce performances like we have done this season."

Gerrard is convinced Liverpool's new sense of belief will help inspire them to make another push for the Premier League title next season.

"Before this season the manager gave us the top four as a target, but I don't think that'll be his target next season, and it certainly won't be the players," he said.

"We've proved this season that we're capable of mixing it with the best and we want another title race, and we want to go one better next year.

"If we add to this team and the squad in the right areas we are capable of challenging. Things have changed here -- the supporters know that and the players know that.

"We are genuine title contenders before a ball is kicked next year, and we need to go and prove that we're the top side in the league over 38 games, and not second."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers also attempted to hide his disappointment after the Newcastle win.

"The players have been absolutely great," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "It's been an incredible run for us and 12 wins out of 14 shows that this is a group that can cope with pressure and we'll learn from this.

"We came second to an outstanding squad. Congratulations to Manchester City they won the league with an excellent manager and a group of world-class players so congratulations to them.

"We've taken them all the way to the very last game of the season and we are a team that finished seventh last year. We know that we'll get better because we've got a lot of improvements to make in the squad and we'll continue to grow and improve."

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