Agger: No more room for slip-ups

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger says the Reds will only have

themselves to blame if they fail to reach the Champions League this

season.

The Reds are currently sixth in the Premier League table,

four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

However, they have a chance to reduce that deficit at home to

bottom side Portsmouth on Monday night.

“We can’t slip up any more because it’s getting to the end of

the season and we know we need more points,” said Agger. “I can’t

imagine not being in the Champions League. That’s the tournament we

all want to be in.

“But it’s our own fault where we are now and we have to get

out of it.

“The fans have a right to expect Liverpool to be in the top

four.

“A big club like Liverpool should be in there every year, but

as we know football doesn’t always work like that.

“The pressure of that shouldn’t come into it. When you come

to a club like this there will always be pressure to be successful.

“Maybe we’ll have to start to imagine not being in the top

four. But for as long as we have a chance we have to keep

believing.

“If you play at a football club like Liverpool you always

need to take responsibility, no matter who you are. You do that on

and off the pitch, but you must definitely do it in the games.”

Agger admits Monday night is a must-win game if Liverpool are

to retain hopes of Champions League qualification.

“The performance doesn’t matter as much as getting the three

points,” said the centre-back. “We need to get some victories

quickly and move on to get ourselves up the table.

“Every week we say this is a big week. Last week people said

it was a defining week as well.

“We need to focus on the next game first, not the games after

that. It’s as straightforward as that.”

At the weekend striker Fernando Torres said it was not the

lack of Champions League football which was likely to consider his

future at the club but a failure to invest in top-quality players

in the summer.

However Agger, who admittedly would be in less demand than

the Spain international, is fully committed to the Merseysiders.

“I wouldn’t walk away. I’d fight to put it right next year

because I’m not a quitter,” he added. “I’ve been close to winning

trophies, but I still don’t have any.

“That’s a big disappointment because that’s the reason I came

to Liverpool.”

Torres may yet get his wish for new players if a

£100million-plus offer for a 40% stake in the club by global

investment firm the Rhone Group is successful.

If co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were to accept the

offer it would dilute their shareholding to 30% each but,

crucially, would almost half the club’s £237million debt.

It would also dramatically reduce the £30million a year

interest payments to service the debt and improve the club’s appeal

to lenders, which could, in turn, lead to cash being secured to

finally begin work on the long-awaited new stadium in Stanley Park.