Lucas Leiva Says Liverpool Is Going Into Merseyside Derby With ‘A Lot of Confidence’

Fabio Borini, Stewart Downing, Steve Gerrard and LucasLucas Leiva looked ahead to Sunday’s 220th Merseyside derby and insisted beating Everton is one of Liverpool’s main objectives for the remaining three matches of 2012-13.

The Reds currently sit five points and one position behind the sixth-place Blues heading into this weekend’s showdown at Anfield.

Lucas knows a win for the Reds will be vital if they are to finish ahead of their neighbors and secure a top-six finish.

“We still have a chance of catching Everton, and that’s our target,” said the Brazilian. “We know we have to win if we want to finish a position higher than we are now.

“Merseyside derbies are always special to play in. The atmosphere will be amazing at Anfield, and it’s the kind of game you really look forward to playing in.

“We will go into the derby with a lot of confidence. Hopefully we can get another win and try to finish the season on a bit of a high.

“It’s been a difficult season for us, but we have to keep going. We still have three games remaining and the chance to get nine more points. The manner of our victory against Newcastle showed the character of everyone.”

Liverpool will go into the game high on confidence following Saturday’s 6-0 demolition of Newcastle United at St. James’ Park.

The Reds were in irresistible form — but Lucas says there were facets of their performance that can be improved upon.

“We showed on Saturday that we are a team,” he said. “We approached the game in the right way and played with a lot of confidence and intensity.

“After going 4-0 up in the second half, we just controlled the game. I remember when we beat Newcastle 5-1 at St. James’ Park a few years ago, and this was even better.

“But even though we won 6-0, there are still areas that we can improve upon. We need to keep working and keep believing.”

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson both struck two goals each to add to Daniel Agger‘s opener against Newcastle.

There was also a first Barclays Premier League goal for the fit-again Fabio Borini, who returned to action as a substitute following a shoulder injury.

Lucas says such statistics show Liverpool will be able to maintain the attacking threat that has seen the Reds plunder 67 goals in the league so far this season in the absence of the suspended Luis Suarez.

“Luis had a fantastic season and had probably been the best player in the Premier League over the past nine months,” he said. “With him out, of course we lose a lot of quality. We miss him a lot, but that performance showed that we have other good players who can score goals and win us matches.

“Daniel has been playing very well. In the second half against Chelsea and again against Newcastle, he showed that he can do that job.

“It was important that goals came from other players as well. We can’t just look to Daniel. The responsibility is on everyone.

“Jordan has worked so hard, and he deserved his goals. With Newcastle being the big rivals of Sunderland, he was really happy.

“Coutinho was playing in a different position as a No. 10. We managed to get him on the ball a lot, and he showed what he can do. He loves to give that final pass.

“I speak a lot with Fabio, because I know what it’s like to be out injured for a long time. It’s been a tough first season for him here, and he’s been unlucky. But now he’s back and will be important for us. To score was a bonus, and we were really happy for him.

“As a team, we were very good from the keeper right through to the center-forward. We kept a clean sheet and scored six goals. Now we have to keep it going.”

Photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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