Gerrard: I'm not going to even TRY to play this game down
Published 22:31 12/04/12 By David Maddock
Steven Gerrard reckons his Liverpool side's season is on the line in the all-Merseyside FA Cup semi final.
The Reds' skipper put the size of Saturday's game into perspective when he admitted: "I'm not going to even try to play this game down, it's not just a semi final - it's a semi final against Everton.
"Everyone here knows how massive it is, and everyone knows it could change our entire season.
"We accept we have to stop the rot in the league, but if we can reach two major finals this year, then it can still turn this season into a major success."
Saturday lunchtime's derby showdown has become a game that defines Liverpool's season.
As Gerrard explained, victory would go some way to redeeming what has been a disastrous league campaign - one that has already cost director of football Damien Comolli his job .
Defeat to Everton would pile massive pressure on manager Kenny Dalglish, despite the vote of confidence delivered on Thursday by the club's owners .
Gerrard knows the consequences, which is why he didn't even bother trying to play down the importance of the game.
But he was in defiant mood, as he boldly declared Liverpool are ready to meet the challenge head on and insisted they will beat their local rivals at Wembley.
"We had three aims this season, with the first being a top four league finish. Obviously, we haven't delivered that," he admitted.
"The other two aims were good cup runs though, and we have done that so far. Now we have to ensure we complete the job... and we'll be ready.
"We've beaten Everton twice this year so that should give us belief and confidence but we need to perform to the same levels at Wembley to get the same result.
"We are really confident we can do that. We believe that we have the players in our squad capable of doing the job on the day."
Gerrard believes a red victory on Saturday will change the mood at Anfield completely, and set them up for the future under Dalglish.
"This is a great opportunity to change the mood because in my opinion, it would be a gigantic achievement if we reached two finals in one season," he explained.
"To get to one final is a big deal, but you can get there with a bit of luck and some good performances.
"To reach two finals in the same season, though, proves that you are a good team with a good squad."