Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool FC are feeling the pressure as they prepare to face Beşiktaş JK – but he insists that the Reds have the mental resolve to cope.
Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool FC are feeling the pressure before their must-win UEFA Champions League encounter with Beşiktaş JK at Anfield – but he insists they have the mental resolve to cope.
The 2-1 defeat by Beşiktaş at the Inönü Stadium a fortnight ago left the Reds bottom of Group A with a solitary point from their three games, though Carragher is refusing to wilt. "We should have pressure on us," he said. "That's what you want because you know you are playing for a good team then. If results don't go well, it's the same for ourselves, Chelsea [FC], Arsenal [FC], Manchester United [FC], and all the other big clubs around Europe ... they are under pressure. We realise how important this game is, but there is no point putting extra pressure on ourselves.
Test of character
"Beşiktaş beat us in Turkey, so credit to them. They played well and we were disappointed but hopefully we will make it right again. This club is built on character and I think we have proved that over the last few years." Carragher believes Liverpool are still in with a chance of winning their remaining three matches, provided they do not get ahead of themselves. "We have to make sure we beat Beşiktaş," he said. "We don't want to start thinking about the last game away to Marseille because we have to concentrate 100 per cent on this one first."
Carragher, however, denies it would be "a disaster" if Liverpool, finalists twice in the last three years, failed to make it past the group stage. "I don't think that's the right word. It's part of football and you can't win all the time," the 29-year-old said. "We have got a great record in the Champions League and we want to keep that going. If we don't go through, hopefully we can make it into the UEFA Cup and do well in that. We're a big club and we want to go on in the Champions League. The whole club – the fans and the players – want to play against the top players in Europe and prove we're up there, as good as the best of them. It would be a disappointment [to go out] but, if it happens, we have just got to get on with it."