Fear of defeat inspires Liverpool's Jamie Carragher
Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher admits the fear of losing remains his overriding emotion when he comes up against Everton.
Fortunately for the Bootle-born defender, those occasions have been few and far between during his career at the club, with the last decade bringing just two defeats in 20 matches, including eight victories at Goodison Park.
The 32-year-old will play in his 25th derby at Anfield today — where Everton have not won since 1999 — but still feels the same pangs of nerves.
“My feelings haven't changed one bit. There is always that little bit of extra anxiety, which comes from the fear of losing,” he said.
“You talk about results being more important than performances but, ideally, you want to put the two together.
“But when you think over the last decade we've probably had our best ever run of results against Everton. Normally in the past whenever Everton have beaten Liverpool, the accusation was that they wanted it a little bit more.
“So I'm glad in the last decade we have turned that around and hopefully we'll be able to keep the run going into the next decade.
“The important thing is that you could never accuse us of lacking desire in these games.”
Liverpool have already beaten Manchester United at home this season and have won their last four matches at Anfield.
But the visit of Everton is the one Carragher always targets and with the race for the top four so tight this season he knows a good result is imperative.
“For me the derby is always the biggest game of the season and this is no different,” he said.
“We've just got to make sure that we get three points and then we can start thinking about the games that follow on, as the race for the top four is getting pretty tight now. It changes from week to week and with teams around us dropping points, we've got to make sure we are in a position to take advantage.
“But we can't look too far ahead as we have got a big enough game of our own to deal with.”
Boss Rafa Benitez added: “We talk about crucial times and this period is very important.
“We are close to the top four and we cannot make too many mistakes and we play against three teams that are around us.”