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By ESPN Staff

Carragher retains European hope

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has not given up hope of European qualification but says next week's clash at home to Manchester City is "massive".

A late 2-1 defeat at West Brom on Saturday left the Reds five points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand, but Carragher is refusing to rule out a return to the Europa League next season

"I don't think losing the extra point here with that late goal will make or break how we finish the end of the season," he said. "We have still got a bit of catching up to do on Tottenham - they only drew [at Wigan].

"There have been plenty of times this season when we thought European qualification had gone. Wigan at home [a 1-1 draw], West Ham away [a 3-1 defeat], but then you get a couple of good results after those and you think it's back on.

"We beat Manchester United after losing to West Ham, hopefully we can do the same against Man City and give everyone a lift.

"It's a massive game for us. City have spent a lot of money and are a team full of a lot of big stars but hopefully that will be the type of game we need to get back on track after this defeat.

"We have got some big games coming up. Unfortunately we've picked up a few injuries and it's even more important now we stick together until the end of the season."

Injuries threaten to severely hamper Liverpool's progress over the final six weeks of the season.

Of most concern is captain Steven Gerrard, who has not played since a groin operation on March 10 and developed another problem in the same area during training on Friday. The midfielder is to undergo further assessment in the coming days to ascertain just how serious his latest setback is.

Manager Kenny Dalglish also has problems in defence after Glen Johnson (hamstring) and Daniel Agger (knee) both limped off on Saturday. With Martin Kelly and Fabio Aurelio still recovering from hamstring injuries it could leave the Reds boss without four members of his backline.

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