Carragher targets domestic Liverpool double

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Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher isn't taking the challenge of Brighton & Hove Albion lightly ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fifth round clash at Anfield.

The Reds have progressed to the last 16 with home victories over Oldham and Manchester United, and now invite the Seagulls to Merseyside after beating them earlier in the season at the Amex Stadium in the League Cup.

And, having reached the final in that competition, Carragher has set his sights on a return to Wembley in a second domestic final, although believes it will be tough to enjoy the same success again.

"It is important to sign off with a win because you go into it (the final) with a buzz," the former England international told the official Liverpool website.

"You're still in the FA Cup, which is another competition - hopefully we can win the Carling Cup, but when that's finished and put to bed, we'll still need to be in the FA Cup and keep something else to look forward to at the end of the season."

It's over a decade since Liverpool famously scooped both Cup competitions, as well as the UEFA Cup, under Gerard Houllier.

And Carragher, who was part of the squad that beat Birmingham (League Cup), Arsenal (FA Cup) and Alaves (UEFA Cup) in 2001, believes there are similarities between the current campaign and that great year.

"There are similarities because we're doing well in the cups. We had the added bonus of the UEFA Cup then as well," added Carragher.

"In that season we weren't close to winning the league, but we were challenging for the top three or four - and that's similar to what we're doing now.

"The cup competitions become even more important when you realise you're maybe not going to win the Championship. It's vitally important for the club, especially because we've gone so long without a trophy."

Carragher isn't getting his suit fitted for May already though, and realises Gus Poyet's side will provide a tough challenge in Sunday's televised clash.

After experiencing defeats at the hands of a number of lower-league sides during his career with Liverpool, Carragher has no doubts that Kenny Dalglish will have the team perfectly prepared for the clash.

"There are no easy games in the FA Cup - I could tell you that from the teams we've been knocked out by over the years," concluded 'Carra'.

"We've had some bad results against lower league opposition, but that's what makes the FA Cup what it is. That's why it's so special when you do win it because you realise the pitfalls along the way.

"It would be disappointing if we were to go out having knocked Manchester United out of the last round. It's a massive game for us and if we win we'll be into the quarter-finals, and if you do well there then you're at Wembley.

"It certainly keeps the season going."

League Cup
Jamie Carragher
FA Cup

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