Sports

UPBEAT REDS

Steven Gerrard is enjoying Liverpool's position as "dark horses" for the Premier League title.

The Reds continued their unbeaten start to the year on Wednesday, following up the incredible 5-1 defeat of Arsenal with a last-gasp victory at Fulham.

Having twice come from behind at Craven Cottage, Gerrard's stoppage-time penalty saw the Merseysiders through 3-2 as victors, moving them to within just four points of leaders Chelsea.

Speaking yesterday ahead of the Reds' mouthwatering FA Cup fifth-round clash against Arsenal at the Emirates tomorrow, the captain said: "We're in the mix. It's still early days, there's a lot of football to be played and we're not going to get carried away.

"But we are in good form. We just carry on playing and trying to win as many games as we can.

"We have the advantage, in a funny way, of no European football, because we have just got the league and FA Cup to focus on."

Brendan Rodgers' men know the Gunners will be looking for revenge just eight days after their mauling at Anfield, with Gerrard all too aware of the threat posed by them in the fifth-round tie.

"Top sides, when they get beat 5-1, they are hurt," he said. "They have just battled to a 0-0 draw against Manchester United, so they have shown they recovered.

"We're expecting a tight game at the Emirates and I think the 5-1 game will have no bearing on this game coming. We're expecting a really tough game.

BREAK

"It's a break from the league, we'll go there and give it everything because we want a good cup run."

Much of Liverpool's hopes for the season rest on Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

They will be hoping he is not distracted by the looming World Cup.

A few alarm bells would have rung when the superstar striker admitted he was "scared" of missing out on facing England in the summer in Brazil due to serious injury.

England winger Theo Walcott and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao have already seen their hopes disappear after picking up knee problems, and Suarez is concerned he may suffer the same fate.

The Liverpool striker said yesterday: "The truth is that I am scared of what happened to Falcao and Walcott.

"But you live in the present and you always give your best for the club - you can't be thinking about that all the time.

"It is a unique opportunity and we all want to be there, but I prefer to focus my mind on the English league and FA Cup. The moment to think about the national team will arrive later."

In a wide-ranging interview, Suarez risked re-opening his race row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra by claiming he had no regrets over the incident, which he described as "all false".

He added: "Let me tell you, I've made only two mistakes in my career.

"The first was when I was playing for Ajax and I bit an opponent.

"My second was when I bit (Branislav) Ivanovic.

"I've nothing else to regret."

- Wire Services.

Suarez is my Player of the Year for 
the entire year. He is a joy to watch 
and his work rate is incredible, which
has benefited (Daniel) Sturridge.

- LIverpool legend Ian Rush on Suarez