Carragher: Bad luck not to blame

BY foxsports • March 31, 2010

Jamie Carragher reckons Liverpool are the only top seven Premier League side to have underchieved this season - and he does not blame bad luck.

Early exits from the title race, Champions League and FA Cup have left the Reds looking for consolation in the form of securing fourth place and winning the Europa League.

Their problems this season have partly been due to injuries to key players like Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun and Glen Johnson but Carragher said they could not use that as an excuse.

"I think the other teams have probably done what you'd expect, I just think we haven't done what we expected to do," said the 32-year-old.

"People presumed the likes of Aston Villa and Tottenham could mount a top four challenge but I think people thought we would already be in there challenging for the league.

"We've disappointed ourselves a little. I don't put it down to bad luck - that's football.

"We all have injuries here and there and that's just part of football and you deal with it.

"I just think at the start of the season we didn't do particularly well and then we realised we weren't going to be in the title race, which was what we had all built ourselves up for.

"It was a disappointment at that early stage, whereas the other teams were excited about the prospect of getting into the top four.

"Maybe it took us a while to get our heads around the fact that we wouldn't be playing for the title, but a top-four finish is vitally important now for next season and that's something we're certainly capable of."

Carragher also hopes they can still lift some silverware in the Europa League.

Liverpool face Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday in the first leg of their quarter-final tie and should Carragher play he will make his 621st appearance for the club, lifting him above Alan Hansen to eighth on the all-time list.

"We're still in the Europa League and we're desperate to get our hands on some silverware - we haven't done that for a few years," the Reds vice-captain told ESPN Soccernet.

"That's vitally important and success in that competition could change how the season has been looked upon - in the next few weeks it could all turn around."

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