Belfast Telegraph

Carragher admits top four worries

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher admits the team's difficulties at Anfield are damaging their hopes of a top-four finish.

The veteran centre-back, 33, has watched many of the struggles from the bench, but he experienced one for himself having been given his first Barclays Premier League start since October 22 in Saturday's goalless draw with Stoke.

The Reds are unbeaten in 11 matches at home but have dropped 14 points, and Carragher admitted: "It wasn't the result that we wanted but Stoke are a tough nut to crack and they have proved that a lot of times this season."

He added: "They have got a very strong back four and unfortunately we couldn't break them down.

"It's been a problem a few times at Anfield this season. We need to sort that out before the end of the season if we want to get to where want to be, which is obviously the top four."

Winning their last two matches in cup competitions, including victory at Manchester City in midweek, coupled with captain Steven Gerrard signing a contract extension meant the team went into the game full of confidence.

However, that gradually drained out of them over the course of 90 frustrating minutes in which Liverpool did not really create a decent chance until Dirk Kuyt missed two close-range headers in quick succession in the final 10 minutes.

"We had a good result a couple of days ago and we wanted to build on that," added Carragher. "It is a bit of a comedown from Wednesday (against City) but we have had that plenty of times this season.

"People have been disappointed with some results but then we have got a result that people don't expect.

"We are still up there, very close to the top four."

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