GERRARD RETURNS IN DEFIANT TITLE TALKING MOOD

Mark Platt 24 July 2006
Steven Gerrard marked his first day back in pre-season training by outlining his aspirations to end Liverpool’s long wait for the Premiership title.
Having enjoyed a prolonged summer break due to his involvement in the World Cup the Liverpool skipper returned to club duty in determined mood.
Speaking at the launch of the Reds’ new Adidas kit, Gerrard spoke of his burning desire to lift more trophies and warned rival clubs that Liverpool fear no-one.
He says: “It would be really nice to finish this season on another good note, just like have done in the previous seasons. Another trophy in the cabinet is a must, as is continued improvement in the league.
“We have to believe we can win the Premiership. It’s going to be difficult but we have to get ourselves involved in that title race. We have respect for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United but we don’t fear them.
“We have the players to improve. The boss has strengthened the squad and I’m sure he’ll add to it again before the start of the season, so that bodes well. We’ve just got to have confidence in our own ability and belief that we can do it.
new kit
“There are a lot of players in the Liverpool dressing room, myself included, who are only missing a Premiership medal from their collection. We’d love to put that right and I’m sure everyone will be pulling in the same direction to achieve this. I’d just love to lift that Premiership trophy above my head.
“Winning the Champions League and FA Cup were both unforgettable experiences and it’s nice to see those trophies in the cabinet but you can’t speak about glory days at Liverpool until the title has been won again, again and again, plus more and more other trophies. You won’t get anyone here speaking about glory days until this is the case.”
Despite playing almost non-stop for 12 months Gerrard insists he’s raring to go ahead of the new campaign and dismissed thoughts he’d be suffering from tiredness.
“I’ve had a three week rest and that is enough for anyone. I enjoyed a couple of holidays, spent a lot of time with my family and I’m feeling good. I just can’t wait to get playing football again. I’m itching for it because that’s what I get paid to do.
“Obviously I have still got some painful memories from Germany but as a player you have to look forward and the idea now is to have a good season for Liverpool.”
new kit
While Gerrard has been away four new faces have been added to the Anfield ranks and the skipper admits he’s impressed with the quality that Rafael Benitez has brought in.
“I’m really excited by the signings we’ve made so far. Obviously, the one I know most about is Craig Bellamy because I’ve come up against him many times. He was a nightmare to play against so I’m glad to have him on side. He’s a really quick player with fantastic ability. He’ll now be playing in a better side than he has done in the past and I’m sure we’re going to see the best of him.
“He’s capable of scoring lots of goals and it’s my responsibility as a midfielder to provide him with chances. He’s also a great character and that is what we need here. I know there’s a lot said about Craig off the pitch but that doesn’t interest me. I’m only interested in how he does on the pitch and I’m sure he’s going to have a good Liverpool career.”
Gerrard also had some words of encouragement for two other Liverpool strikers at opposite ends of their career path.
“I was delighted to see Craig Lindfield get off the mark on Saturday. I was really impressed with him during last season’s Youth Cup run and I’m not surprised to see him being handed a first team opportunity. He’s a good player with a big future and it’s nice to see a local lad get a chance.
“Let’s also not forget about Robbie Fowler. I hear he’s been looking sharp since the start of pre-season and I’ve no doubt he will score a lot of goals in the coming season.”
On Liverpool’s new Adidas kit, the club captain added: “It’s really nice, very smart and feels good on. The three stripes on the arm remind me of the glory days of the eighties when the likes of John Barnes and Steve McMahon were in their prime. Hopefully it can inspire us to similar success.”

From official Liverpool site
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