STEVEN GERRARD reflected on Liverpool’s dramatic FA Cup semi-final triumph over Everton and insisted: “Now we need to finish the job off.”
The Reds will return to Wembley to face Chelsea in the final on May 5 as they look to complete a domestic Cup double.
Skipper Gerrard hailed the “bottle” shown by Kenny Dalglish’s side after they fought back from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 win over the Blues.
“We’re relieved to get through but we’ve won nothing yet,” Gerrard said.
“We’ve won a semi-final but the big game is going to be the final now. It’s going to be a difficult game and we need to finish the job off.
“There was a lot of pressure on the team with us playing against our big rivals. It was disappointing to go a goal down but we all stuck together.
“We showed what character and what bottle this squad has got to respond and get the win.
“To be a goal down against Everton is a very difficult situation but we showed what we are all about. We all rallied around and proved we are a good team. We could have won the game even more comfortably with the chances we created in the second half.”
It will be the third FA Cup final of Gerrard’s career and he will be looking to complete a hat-trick having lifted the Cup in 2001 and 2006.
The captain paid tribute to strike duo Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll whose second-half goals secured the Reds’ passage back to Wembley.
“They were two good performances from them and they showed what they are all about,” Gerrard said.
“We have got every faith in them as a partnership. They showed again that if they are playing together they will deliver.
“We’re all happy for Andy to get the winner. He’s a good player and it just goes to show that a lot of the stuff that’s written about him is nonsense.
“He’s proved on the big stage what he’s capable of and proved all his critics wrong. He was superb for us and has been every time he has been called upon. I’m sure he will deliver for us again in the final if he’s called upon.”
With Liverpool now preparing for their second major final of the season, Gerrard admits the only disappointment has been their lack of consistency in the Premier League.
The midfielder believes their success in the Cups underlines how they have under-achieved in the top flight this season.
“We have proved we are a very good Cup team and we’ve proved that on our day we can beat anyone,” Gerrard added.
“But there’s still a big challenge for us in the league. Our league position isn’t good enough and the players need to take responsibility for that.
“I think it’s a false league position as we are better than where we are in the league. We are disappointed with how the league campaign has gone.
“We won the Carling Cup and should have pushed on, moved up the league and put a big fight in for the top four.
“If we go on and win this Cup we can look at the season as a success as far as the Cups are concerned. But everyone will know what we need to address and that’s the league form.
“We need more consistency. We need to be winning games against your Wigans and Stokes.
“We are better than those teams and we haven’t shown that this year. We have created tons of chances and not killed teams off.
“But I believe we’ve got the players and we can certainly improve next season. Back in August the target was top four and two good Cup runs. We have delivered two of them.
“The plan now moving forward is to try to get some wins under our belt in the league and go into the Cup final in good form.”
Dalglish’s victorious squad returned to Merseyside to attend yesterday’s Hillsborough Memorial Service at Anfield.