Javier Mascherano believes Liverpool can save their season from collapse over the next three crucial matches.
Liverpool, who brought some respectability to their fading title challenge with Tuesday's 2-0 home win over Sunderland, now face three of their toughest games of the campaign.
On Tuesday they can reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League if they see off Real Madrid at Anfield before a trip to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League, followed by a home game with fourth-placed Aston Villa on March 22. And Mascherano insists: "We must keep fighting."
The Argentina international, who played at right-back against Sunderland as cover for the injured Alvaro Arbeloa, is acutely aware of the importance of all three games, for differing reasons and added: "It is important that we do not slip away in the table.
"We must keep concentrating and see if we can get closer.
"We are in a competition with Chelsea for second, but we still must not give up on the chase to catch Manchester United.
"We won't give up. Let's not talk about the title, let's make sure we win our matches.
"We have a very important Champions League game with Real Madrid next week and then we go to Manchester United before Aston Villa are at Anfield next.
"We must take it step by step, try to get to the Champions League quarter-finals and then turn our attention to the next two league games.
"The next three matches are very, very important for us."
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