Gerrard dreading new Cup final nightmare
Published 21:33 24/02/12 By David Maddock
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard claims he felt "suicidal" the last time he reached the League Cup Final.
Only Championship side Cardiff stand in the way of the Reds' first trophy in six years.
But the Reds' captain has issued a rallying call to his inexperienced team, by spelling out the disastrous consequences of losing at Wembley on Sunday.
Gerrard said: "The defeat the last time I was in the final was a nightmare - I felt suicidal.
"It was bad, one of the worst days I have had - especially coming against Chelsea. Getting to the final is a great experience, but you don't remember the ones you lose. You want to avoid that at all costs."
It was in February 2005 that Gerrard led his Liverpool into Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, where they suffered a 3-2 extra time defeat by the men from Stamford Bridge.
To compound the agony, the midfielder scored a 79th minute own goal that offered the opposition a route back into the game - after Blues boss Jose Mourinho had very publicly tried to tempt him to switch to Stamford Bridge.
Gerrard has passed on his experiences to what is quite a young Liverpool side to rouse them before a potentially tricky showdown with a side who are pushing for promotion to the Premier League.
"I was linked with Chelsea for a while before that final," the Kop idol added. "So to score an own goal - there were Liverpool fans who probably thought I meant it at the time - and to get the defeat was a nightmare for me and the team.
"You only remember days like this when you are a winner. I very rarely go back to 2005 and Chelsea, or 2007 and AC Milan [when Liverpool lost the European Cup Final]. They mean nothing to me, getting to those finals.
"The memories I go back to and like thinking about are the ones when I came away as a winner.
"The pressure is on us, but we have to deliver now, we can't just talk the talk."
Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy could start against his former club - and hometown team - after passing a fitness test.
Daniel Agger will replace Jamie Carragher at the back if he is given the all-clear on Saturday morning, while boss Kenny Dalglish looks set to put his faith in the Andy Carroll-Luis Suarez forward partnership.
CARLING CUP FINAL: LIVERPOOL v CARDIFF PROBABLE TEAMS
Liverpool - Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Adam; Henderson, Suarez, Bellamy; Carroll.
Cardiff - Heaton; McNaughton, Hudson\Gerrard, Turner, Taylor; Conway, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, McPhail\Mason, Cowie