Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool's last-gasp win over Aston Villa was a statement of intent to their rivals that they are still a major force in the battle for a Champions League spot.
The Reds closed the gap on fourth placed Tottenham to four points, and are now only two behind Villa, after Fernando Torres’ stoppage-time winner.
Carragher is confident they can now put together a decisive run of results in the New Year.
He said: “It was a big result. That brings us a lot closer to Aston Villa. If they had beaten us, it would have been a big points difference so the one game can make a difference.
“We realise what would have happened if we had lost. People would have said we were miles away and ‘that was it' for the top four, so we have given ourselves a fighting chance.
“I haven't looked at the table for a while so I am not sure how far or how close we are. When it's not going well, there is no point.
“But if we can win the next game against Tottenham as well, that can put us right in the mix. We've had a lot of ups and downs this season and hopefully we can go on a good run now.
“We've been up there for a long time. There are always people wanting to shoot you down, other teams. So it was more than just the three points at Villa. It was a statement to everyone that we are still fighting for that place.”
The bad news for Liverpool was that Glen Johnson suffered a medial ligament injury to his right knee at Villa Park.
The England right-back was assessed by the club's medical team at Melwood yesterday and underwent a scan which revealed the extent of the injury which forced him to limp off after 88 minutes.
A club spokesman said: “The player will see a specialist, after which we should be able to more accurately determine the length of his rehabilitation period.”