Some quotes ahead of today’s derby confrontation at Anfield.
Everton manager, David Moyes. "At the moment, it’s a good season for us whatever happens. The last nine games dictate whether it is going to be great, but we are trying to keep the pressure off the players. We’re in a position now where, if we continue to carry on playing for the rest of the season as we have done so far, then it really could prove to be a great season for us. I haven’t said that directly to the players because we just want to go about things as quietly as possible. But it’s there – there are nine games left now and that is the challenge for us. We have risen to the challenge all season and there is no reason we can’t meet the final challenge. We know what victory would mean, and yes a draw would be a fantastic result as well. It is a massive game and really these are the games that you come to Everton for."
Liverpool boss, Rafael Benitez. "I believe we have more quality than Everton, but it is a case of making it count.
We have plenty of ability and skill, but sometimes we haven’t had the right mentality. Everton are doing very well and are having a very good season. They work hard as a team and all the players have the same idea. In Valencia we worked like that, and sometimes it is very difficult to beat those teams. We have more quality, but it’s not always about quality in football. Sometimes we haven’t had the right mentality in games, or we have lost concentration early on."
Reds captain Steven Gerrard. "This one is about more than pride, there might be millions at stake. They are very emotional games anyway, but this one might just be the biggest Merseyside derby I’ve ever played in. The winners won’t have booked their place in the Champions League, but they will have struck a real psychological blow against their rivals. The league is not going to change dramatically between now and the end of the season so it is vital we cut the gap."
Liverpool’s Spanish star Luis Garcia. "It will be a physical game, but I’m confident I can cope with it. After almost a season in England, I’m more used to these kind of games. I want to show people I can play and do well in this kind of game. I want to prove that on Sunday. When I first came here I started off well and I was playing like I have always done in La Liga. Then defenders got to know more about me and it has got harder because teams aren’t interested in playing football. They just want to stop me playing. I don’t like that in football but I have to get used to it. It’s a challenge for me, but one I’m confident I can win. Of course I’m confident we’ll finish fourth. There are still enough points to play for and we can do it. That’s how we have to think. At this moment we can’t say we’re better than Everton because they’re fourth and we’re behind them. So far they’ve been better than us, but the season isn’t finished yet and there’s still time for us. We can’t think of anything other than winning this weekend. The result against Blackburn was disappointing because it was probably our most important game of the season and we didn’t perform. Now we must move on."