still a target
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard defiantly predicted
the Reds would still finish in the top four, despite the
latest setback at Wolves last night.
Kenny Miller's last minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at
Molinuex leaves the Reds trailing Charlton by four
Gerrard was outstanding on his comeback from injury, but
admitted a below par second half display was to blame
for the costly lapse.
"Until half-time everything was perfect and then we just
stopped performing in the second half. It's hard to say
what happened," said Gerrard.
"I felt we just sat back too much and wanted to hold
onto our 1-0. It wasn't a tactical ploy or anything, I
think that mentally as a team we just wanted to settle
for what we had. They were bombarding us in the second
half and we just couldn't seem to get out of our half.
"I definitely feel we've dropped two points. This was
the game in hand and we know we needed to win. It's a
game we should have won, and even at the end we had the
chances before they equalised."
With just 16 games left, Liverpool can't afford any more
slip-ups if they're to realise their Champions' League
But Gerrard insists it's too early to panic.
He added: "I'm not worried about the gap between
ourselves and Charlton. I'm still confident we'll get
the last Champions League place. Both Charlton and
Newcastle still have to come to Anfield so there's
plenty to play for yet.
"I think that's the first time the gaffer has had a full
squad to choose from going into a game. All I'd say is
give us three or four games playing together and watch
us go then.
"From a personal point of view I felt okay out there. I
got a bit of a second wind before the end and felt good.
"I'm just looking forward to the Newcastle match now. It
will be good to get away from the Premiership for a
while and set our sights on getting back to Cardiff."
Passions spilled over at the end of last night's game
when Gerrard clashed with Paul Ince.
But the captain says the feud ended at the final
He explained: "I thought Paul Ince was trying to get a
penalty when it wasn't. That's just one of those things
which happens in a game and it's forgotten about now so
far as I'm concerned.
"We swopped shirts at the end so there's no problem."
criticises lack of nerve
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier says his side lost
their nerve as they let in a late equaliser in the draw
With time ticking away, a row between Paul Ince and
Steven Gerrard needed referee Barry Knight to issue a
lecture before calm was restored.
Seconds later Liverpool cracked and Kenny Miller scored
his second crucial goal in the space of a couple of
"You have to stay calm and keep your focus, but we lost
our concentration and our nerve," said Houllier.
Houllier also believed that referee Barry Knight wrongly
awarded the corner that led to Wolves' equaliser after
Bruno Cheyrou had given the Reds the lead in the first
"But I cannot blame the referee for the draw, I blame
ourselves for not finishing clinically enough," he said.
"We had enough chances to have won that game, Michael
Owen, Emile Heskey and Danny Murphy - twice - could have
finished it before they scored.
"We should have had two more points from that one."
Miller strikes late again to frustrate Liverpool
By Phil Shaw - The Independent
Kenny Miller is fast emerging as the finisher who
could yet preserve Wolves' hard-won Premiership status.
After scoring the goal that beat Manchester United last
weekend, the Scot sparked fresh raptures at Molineux
when he fired a 90th-minute equaliser to deny Liverpool
the victory their second-half sloppiness scarcely
A week earlier, Miller had a solitary goal to show for
his efforts in an injury-blighted season. Then two
against Kidderminster in the FA Cup seemed to reignite
his confidence, as exemplified by the way he fired past
Tim Howard on Saturday, and he repeated the feat against
Jerzy Dudek to nullify Bruno Cheyrou's splendid
Dave Jones, who had spent much of the day negotiating to
sign Carl Cort from Newcastle for £1.5m as competition
for his strikers, acknowledged the sudden surge in
Miller's self-belief. "It was a great finish, a really
calmly taken goal," the Wolves manager said. "Once that
confidence is there, you feel you can do anything. But
he has to keep doing it."
Wolves are unbeaten at home in seven League matches
since September, when Chelsea routed them 5-0, but they
have not won away from Molineux in the top flight since
1984. If they are to survive, it could be they will have
to update that record on their next three trips which
just happen to be to Portsmouth, Leeds and Leicester.
If spirit and support are anything to go by, Wolves have
a fighting chance. "I told the players after the game:
what we have at the moment, that feel-good factor, is
something you can't buy," added Jones. "And the crowd
just kept urging us on, When the goal went in, I turned
around to the stands and the whole place was rocking. As
I said on Saturday, everyone connected with the club
should give themselves a pat on the back."
Jones admitted Liverpool had had the opportunities on
the counter-attack to close off the win, the most
glaring coming when Danny Murphy shot against the post
with five minutes remaining. Yet Wolves were
determination personified in the second half, forcing
Liverpool so deep that they were virtually encamped in
the Asda car-park. Only the most blinkered Liverpudlian
could have begrudged them a point.
Gérard Houllier, for whom three points in his 200th
Premiership match as manager would have taken Liverpool
to within two of fourth-placed Charlton, felt his team
were "unsettled" by an incident in which Paul Ince
squared up to Steven Gerrard in the final minutes.
Ince, who had played with all his old combativeness
against another of his former clubs, raised his hands to
Gerrard and was fortunate to stay on the pitch, having
already been booked. "We were wrong not to keep our
composure," Houllier admitted. "The players had some
anxiety and nerves. But we had enough chances to finish
them off more than enough. I feel a bit frustrated but
Wolves are not doing badly at home."
Fielding one of their strongest sides of the season,
Liverpool initially looked the more cohesive unit. Two
minutes before the break, Cheyrou had darted through the
inside-right channel to despatch Steve Finnan's fine
long pass beyond Michael Oakes for his second goal in
three weeks and the second of a previously ill-starred
Wolves, spurred on by Ince and Alex Rae, carried the
fight to Liverpool almost from the first whistle in the
second half. They looked certain to draw level in the
65th minute, after Miller glanced on a cross by Colin
Cameron. Steffen Iversen, arriving at the far post to
complete the formality, somehow contrived to fire over
the bar from four yards.
But the gold shirts kept pressing and Liverpool, with
Harry Kewell invisible and Michael Owen quiet after some
bright early runs, showed their infuriating
inconsistency. Their lack of ambition was embarrassing,
and Miller, angling his shot across Dudek after Ince had
flicked on Denis Irwin's deep cross, ensured it was