Gerrard demands more from Reds

The Reds are four matches unbeaten in the Premier League – with

only Wednesday’s draw at Wigan preventing them taking a maximum 12

points – and are back within touching distance of Champions League

qualification in ninth place. That position is likely to improve if

they beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday evening but

the England midfielder knows they will have to step up a level

again against the Potters. “It was really tricky against Wigan

because we put so much effort into the Chelsea game (which they won

2-0),” he said. “Now we need to recover and we’ve got another tough

game against Stoke. “At the beginning of the season our target was

top four and that hasn’t changed, but at the moment I don’t want to

get carried away. “We are still in a position in the league we are

not totally happy with, so we need to keep this run going and see

where it takes us. “At the moment we’ll keep taking each game as it

comes.” One player who is trying to take the opportunities which

come his way is David Ngog. With Fernando Torres now fit and back

in top form, having scored three times in his last two games, the

Frenchman is being restricted to substitute appearances and starts

in the Europa League. But instead of becoming frustrated, the

21-year-old is focusing on what he can do for the team. “I have

scored a few goals so that makes me more confident and more

comfortable in the team,” said Ngog, who has seven to his tally,

the majority coming in Europe. “I know that I have to be consistent

and keep reproducing those performances every time I play. “You

have got to be prepared to fight every week and in every game you

play for the team. “When you play less, you have to be ready when a

chance comes along. “It is not easy because you want to play every

game. The only target is to get on the pitch. “I suppose I just

have to be patient and the main thing for me is to keep working and

keep believing that I will get the opportunities that I want. “I

know that I have got the quality to play at this level. The

challenge for me is to make sure I show this quality throughout the

season.”