Gerrard expects Liverpool to learn from experience
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has challenged his team-mates to push on next season and prove they can be considered title contenders every year.
Gerrard wants to pick up another three points against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday to finish on 86 this season, which will mean Liverpool have more points than any runner-up in Premier League history over a 38-game season.
That could act as a springboard to greater things and while Gerrard is not suggesting the title will be a certainty in 2009-10, he feels it is only a matter of time before their championship drought, which stretches back to 1990, comes to an end.
The England international, who turns 29 a week on Saturday, admits they must cut out the damaging draws which have stopped them from being able to catch Manchester United. He accepts that consecutive home league draws against Fulham, West Ham and Hull in November and December have cost Liverpool the title.
Liverpool have only lost two games this season to United's four and scored seven more goals. But they do not have the points advantage to show for it.
Speaking to the club's official website, Gerrard said: "Looking back at those three draws on the spin at home, they are the key because, if we had turned them into wins, we would probably be champions or at least still in the race with one game to go.
"But that shows everyone how difficult this league is to win and that you need to perform immaculately at home and win all your games.
"So if we can beat Spurs on Sunday and finish with 86 points it would still be a fantastic achievement.
"I am really proud. This season is the first time I've ever been involved in a title race and, from a personal point of view, I've certainly enjoyed it. Speaking to the other boys, they've enjoyed it too.
"Obviously we were unfortunate not to win the league, but we can take a lot of positives from this season moving forward.
"We've put in some terrific performances this year and have performed well as a team. I think we can use this experience and take big confidence into next campaign.
"As far as trophies are concerned, we've finished empty handed, but I think we can be really proud of how we have performed. From maybe mid-December onwards we've shown championship-winning form.
"To win the Premier League you have to have had experience of being involved in a title race and let's hope the experience we've gained this year will help us go one better next season.
"We can take belief from going to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates and remaining unbeaten.
"If we can take that confidence and belief into those games next season and perform in the same way, as well as turning the home draws into wins, I think we could be champions.''