Liverpool may still be in the relegation zone, but their Anfield win over Blackburn gave multiple reasons for optimism.
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Steven Gerrard believes victory over Blackburn will do wonders for everyone in the dressing room as they seek to haul the club back up the Barclays Premier League table.
“The three points will have done wonders for everyone.
It was great to see Fernando get on the scoresheet and Joe Cole set him up. We have got to use the last two performances as a fresh start but the last thing the players have done is hide behind the fact we’ve had a bit of an issue off the field.
“We find ourselves where we are in the league because we haven’t been good enough. Of course it is nice and refreshing to know things are sorted out off the pitch and the fans are happy.
“It is all about getting a sequence of results and we will find out now whether we are capable of doing it. That is the challenge for this team.
“If you do that, you will find yourself climbing the table really fast. Three or four wins on the bounce and you will find yourself in a very healthy position.
“It is early days and there are still plenty of games to play. If we play like we can at Bolton (next weekend) we can do really well. Enough is enough – we want to put that sequence together.” (Liverpool Official Website)
Although much has been written about Liverpool’s poor start to the season – and certainly Reds fans have been reminded enough times that it was the worst start in over 50 years – beating Blackburn 2-0 offered a number of encouraging signs for the side.
A large part of blame has been attributed to the team’s off field issues – the uncertainty over the club’s future has doubtlessly affected the players – but while performances have not been great, the sensationalism of matters in the press has not helped. After all, Liverpool might still be in the relegation zone on goal difference, but due to early season congestion they are only three points behind seventh place Sunderland.
It remains unlikely that they will qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League without heavy investment in January, but a number of Reds fans would settle for a solid season this year with the main reinforcement coming in the summer.
There have been plenty of poor performances this season that Roy Hodgson must take the blame for, with the deep standing off tactics against Everton in particular playing straight into David Moyes’ hands, but against Blackburn Rovers it finally felt as if the Liverpool players had been let off the leash somewhat – and one imagines Torres’ goal will spike a flurry more.
Indeed, they could have scored plenty more, and were it not for the understandable air of anxiety around Anfield due to the lack of confidence from recent results, they may well have.
As Gerrard says, the only way is up for Liverpool, but a tough fixture at Bolton followed by home games against Napoli and Chelsea will show whether this improved performance was a mere one-off or indication of things to come.