Gerrard: We'll bounce back

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Football News

Steven Gerrard insists he and his Liverpool teammates will dust themselves down and embrace the challenge of bouncing back from yesterday's disappointing 2-1 FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea at Wembley.

The Reds skipper vowed that the entire squad are committed to coming back stronger next year, after a poor Premier League campaign that was briefly lifted by the club's Carling Cup success in February.

After spending big in last summer's transfer market, Kenny Dalglish's players have underperformed domestically, and have come into criticism for a number of below par displays this season, particularly at Anfield.

A second Wembley win would have gone some way to changing the perception of the 2011-12 campaign as a whole, but Liverpool must now use Saturday's defeat as a motivation to improve next year.

"We need to dust ourselves down and we need to respond to the challenge next year," Gerrard told "We need to come back. Football is about highs and lows, it's certainly been a low today.

"We've been fantastic in the cup competitions this year and the players deserve a lot of credit for that. We haven't been good enough in the league this year and we deserve criticism and we need to take criticism like men.

"We need to do better. We're Liverpool Football Club; we're no seventh or eighth in the league. We're better than that."

Reflecting on the game itself, the Reds found themselves two goals down just five minutes into the second half. The introduction of Andy Carroll gave the Merseysiders more momentum after he pulled a goal back, but it turned out to be too little, too late.

"I think on our second half performance we certainly deserved to take Chelsea to extra-time," Gerrard added. "But I don't think we did enough over the 90 minutes to deserve to win the game.

"I think, given the pressure we put them under second half, we're a bit disappointed we didn't get extra-time out of it.

"That's the frustration. Looking back, we never got going until 30 minutes into the game and I think we got even better once Andy came on and we finished the game a lot stronger than Chelsea.

"That's why I believe we just did enough to get a draw out of the game. I wouldn't say we did enough to win the game."

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Steven Gerrard
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