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Gerrard and Reina issue Europa call

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Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina have urged Liverpool to go on and win the Europa League. While the skipper acknowledges that a failure to challenge for the Champions League is a huge blow to the club and players used to challenging for the top honour the rebranded competition is one sights should certainly be set on.

The Reds did all they could to retain an interest but efforts were undone when Fiorentina held their 1-0 lead over Lyon.

Gerrard accepts it was a position the team should not have been in but played tribute to efforts at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium saying: "The disappointing thing was having to rely on other teams going.

"We've played fantastically well tonight and deserved the three points, so it's disappointing that we won't progress in the Champions League. You get what you deserve in this competition and the two late goals we conceded against Lyon have been crucial. But it's gone now - it's in the past and we've got to move on.

"We're in the Europa League and we'll go and try to win it."

Speaking just after the final whistle the skipper continued: "Tonight's performance was encouraging and we can build on that. We've got a lot of players coming back from injury so hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here."

Though he believes the team will have to pick itself up from the disappointment of Tuesday evening Gerrard feels sure it will adapt to the new challenge.

He said: "When you start the season, you want to stay in the Champions League as long as possible, so to be playing in the Europa League is disappointing.

"But we have to accept that, move on and go and try and win it.

"The only consolation from losing out on the Champions League is to go and win the one that comes second."

However, seemingly foremost in the captain’s mind is an imminent improvement in domestic form.

"It's important we finish in the top four, that goes without saying," he said.

"For financial reasons, but also from a personal point of view it is important for players to play in the Champions League because it's the best level.

"It's important we go to Everton on Sunday, try to get the three points and get ourselves back in the top four as soon as possible.

"Now that we've got the majority of the squad back fit, I'm very confident we can turn things around and go on a long run of winning games.

"Hopefully Torres is not too far away and then we'll have everyone back fit and go from there."

Goalkeeper Reina who made a couple of late saves to preserve Liverpool’s slender margin of victory expressed his belief that the Europa League would be tricky to win.

“It's a tough competition and it's not always possible to get out of the group stage,” he said. "The Europa League is another competition for us and we want to win it. It also has strong teams and it will be nice to play in it. It's already become a target. It'll be tough because there are so many good teams involved, but we have to look forward and keep trying to win."

He also looked towards the weekend Merseyside Derby as a way of making a bid to qualify for next year’s Champions League adding: "To beat Everton is always huge, especially for the fans," added Reina. "We'll be trying because we also need to win in the league and in the race for fourth place. We have to move on and keep fighting."

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 November 2009 10:07 )