CARRAGHER FAITH IN REDS DEPTH
Posted 24/02/09 20:09
Jamie Carragher insists Liverpool can win in the Spanish capital even if Steven Gerrard fails to overcome his hamstring problem ahead of the clash against Real Madrid.
A late decision will be made on Gerrard's fitness to figure in the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash.
Carragher said: "We can get a good result without Steven. We have done it in the past, he is a great player - one of the best in the world - and we hope he will be fit.
"But when we won the trophy in 2005 there were plenty of games when Steven didn't play. Obviously we are a better side when he plays, and hopefully he will be playing."
Carragher was in buoyant mood despite Liverpool's perilous position in the domestic title race with Manchester United seven points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League and he is cleanly looking forward to playing in the Bernabeu.
He said: "It is fantastic to be here, I get very excited about ties like this because you want to experience playing in the big stadiums. We have never played here so a lot of us were really pleased with the draw.
"This is against the team who are probably the biggest in European football, and Liverpool are proud that we are up there alongside AC Milan and Real as the three most successful teams in Europe.
"For two of those teams to be pitted against each other in the Champions League shows now how big this game is.
"There's 14 European Cups won between us, and hopefully we can make it six for us this season."
As for the chances of winning in Europe and in the Premier League, Carragher said: "We have to still believe we can win both competitions.
"They are both important to Liverpool and we know we have dropped another couple of points behind Manchester United, but there are more than 30 points still to play for so anything can still happen.
"We will never give up until it is mathematically impossible, but for now we are putting all that behind us to concentrate on beating Real Madrid.
"But it will be a pleasure to be on the same pitch as Raul, a true legend at this club. There have been times when people have been writing him off, but he has shown great character to continue to prove them wrong.
"There have been so many big name players at Madrid for big money, and he is still around, still scoring the goals to break club records like he has just achieved.
"He is similar to Steven Gerrard. When you think of Real Madrid you think of Raul. When you think of Liverpool you think of Steven.
"Their good current form could be a boost to their confidence, but let's wait and see what happens on the pitch."