Kuyt: It has been hard carrying Reds

The Reds have been without Fernando Torres and Glen Johnson for

several games, while captain Steven Gerrard has only recently

returned from a latest fitness setback in a troubled campaign.

However, Rafa Benitez’s team are preparing for Saturday’s

Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield boasting a six-game

unbeaten run in the Premier League that has kept their quest for

the UEFA Champions League alive. Kuyt has had to fill in for star

striker Torres and has scored three goals in as many games to leave

him one away from his 50th for Liverpool – but the Dutchman has

felt the pressure. “Of course you feel a responsibility. Everyone

in the team feels a responsibility and it is very hard when you are

missing your best players,” he said. “We have missed Torres for a

while, Stevie (Gerrard) couldn’t play every game and Glen Johnson

has a bad injury, it makes it very difficult. “Any other team,

Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, would

struggle as well, but you can’t think about this. “You have to try

to do it with the players who are fit at the moment. “What we have

done really well is keep working hard. We have been a bit unlucky

with a couple of injuries, but the players are coming back and we

are getting stronger and stronger. Once they are back we will all

learn that it makes us stronger. “Things are definitely changing,

but we can’t relax. We have to look forward and get the goals in.”

Liverpool are unbeaten in their previous six league encounters

against Everton and their last defeat at home against their nearest

rivals came in 1999. Kuyt, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win at

Goodison Park back in 2007, will be asked to try and supply the

goals to secure another win over the Toffees this weekend and Reds

assistant manager Sammy Lee hopes he reaches his half century. But

Benitez’s number two would welcome any strikes that secure three

points, saying: “It would be nice for him to score in the derby and

get his 50, but it would be nice for anyone to score. “It’s good

for us that we have got goals going in from different areas. We are

without Fernando, which has been well documented, but the lads are

working hard and we have got players like Dirk who can score.”