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'I am desperate to hold trophy'

England midfielder Steven Gerrard wants to banish his World Cup blues by leading Liverpool to Premiership glory.
None | By Agence France-Presse, Liverpool, England
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2006 01:46 PM IST

England midfielder Steven Gerrard wants to banish his World Cup blues by leading Liverpool to Premiership glory.

Gerrard returned to training for the first time since his World Cup heartache when he and club-mate Jamie Carragher both missed penalties in England's quarter-final shoot-out defeat to Portugal last month.

Now, the Reds' skipper has set his sights firmly on lifting the one domestic honour he has yet to capture - the league title.

"I am desperate to hold the league trophy above my head," said Gerrard. "I have still got painful memories from Germany, but the idea now is to look forward and have a good season for Liverpool.

"I don't know whether I played at my peak in Germany. I got the chance to play in a couple of positions out there but I did get the chance to burst forward occasionally and score a couple of goals.

"And to be honest, although it ended on a bad note I really enjoyed my first experience of a World Cup, even though that may sound strange.

"I scored goals and just being involved was really good after missing the previous one through injury."

The pain of failing to fulfil England's potential in Germany has already started to subside.

"I feel it is already out of my system, as you get more experienced as a player you learn to get bad experiences out of your head quickly," added Gerrard.

"Now we have a new season and it would be nice to end the coming campaign on a good note like we did last season with a trophy."

Liverpool lifted the FA Cup last season with a dramatic victory over West Ham, courtesy of two stunning Gerrard strikes, but the midfielder feels cup wins are not enough for England's most successful club.

"Having improved in the league so much last season it is important that we get involved in the title race.

"To get to Chelsea we must improve on last season and for the new players who have arrived - and there may be one more - to bring something to the squad and strengthen on what we already have.

"We must make sure we are confident and we must believe we can do it or it won't happen."

He added: "I would like to think this club is on the brink of something special, there are a lot of players in the dressing room who are missing the Premier League title from their CV having won virtually everything else."

Gerrard is more than aware that he is also now being linked with taking over from David Beckham as the new England captain.

"Of course every England player would like to be the captain, but I am not one of those players who will be talking about and trying to get it.

"That's Steve McClaren's decision and if it comes my way, then great, but if not then I will wish whoever the new captain is every success."

But it is Liverpool's future that is at the front of Gerrard's mind, and he is determined to return his boyhood club to its glorious past, having already led the team to a European Cup triumph in 2005.

"There is a big, big confidence in our dressing room and we would like to go on and win the Champions League again after experiencing it once," he said.

"It's easier said than done but we need to go further than the quarter-finals like last season, we are better than that.

"We have won two trophies in two seasons, in Europe and the FA Cup. But glory days for Liverpool is about titles and more and more trophies.

"We won't be talking about glory days here because we know we have a lot of hard work still to do."



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