Steven Gerrard has charged his Liverpool team-mates to be all about replicating their level of performance from Wednesday night when Arsenal visit Anfield on Sunday and into the New Year.
The ‘Reds’ responded well to criticisms in the wake of last Sunday’s defeat at Manchester United and their ouster from the Uefa Champions League with victory over high-flying Championship side Bournemouth to book their ticket to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, where they have been drawn against Premier League rivals Chelsea.
“It’s time to roll your sleeves up and fight for the club and try to put things right as soon as possible – and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Gerrard said.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have managed just three wins in their last ten Premier League matches going into Saturday’s heavyweight clash with Arsenal.
Gerrard felt Liverpool were much improved against Championship Leaders Bournemouth, who came into the midweek’s quarter-final tie on the back of a 12-game unbeaten run since September. He challenged his colleagues to prove their worth, just as the 11th-placed club bid to return to form as it were in the previous campaign.
“We need to keep going and keep winning,” said Gerrard. “We have a tough game at the weekend against Arsenal and then we have got a run of fixtures which are a bit more kind to us.
“If we can get a big result against Arsenal and build on this, I think we can turn it around. I think this is where you find out what kind of players you’ve got in the dressing room.
He continued: “I tell them individually, I tell them in the dressing room. I know when I don’t play well. I think every individual does here, but I think collectively it has been tough.
“It’s been tough to perform because we haven’t played well as a team and so there have been tough days of late.
“But if we keep fighting, keep performing, roll your sleeves up, keep giving everything you’ve got, I’m sure the good days are not too far away.
“Wednesday night was satisfying and gives you a bit of breathing space but you all know we can only enjoy it that night and then it’s gone, because we start preparations for the Arsenal game.”
Gerrard also backed Raheem Sterling to fulfill his potentials at Anfield following his brace against Bournemouth.
Sterling, 20, was fielded as a makeshift centre-forward at the Goldsands Stadium on Wednesday night and his performance proved he could still go on to become a “top drawer” at the Merseyside club, according to the veteran midfielder.
“I think Raheem can play anywhere along the front, he’s that intelligent,” said the captain. “You’ve got to be able to have that in your locker if you want to be top drawer.
“He took a lot of stick after the weekend but I thought his all-round performance was magnificent, the only thing that was missing against Manchester United was a finish and that came against Bournemouth.
“He’s got to keep learning, he’s got to keep wanting it. He’s great to watch and great to play with, he’s got that pace.”