Friday, October 22, 2010

Carra: Trying Our Best To Impress Roy

Jamie Carragher today insisted that dealing with pressure is part and parcel of being a Liverpool player and declared he is ready to lead by example in the Europa League clash against Napoli. The defensive stalwart admits the Reds are obviously frustrated by their below-par opening to the 2010-11 season, but he is adamant it is too early in the campaign to be writing off the hopes of Roy Hodgson's side. Asked about pressure on the players, Carragher told reporters: "It's the same as the last 15 years I've been here. It hasn't changed because it's always been the same. We're not getting the results we would like, but I've seen it plenty of times since I've been at the club. "Of course we don't like to be in that position, but it's very early days in the season and there is still a long way to go. I'm pretty sure we won't be in that position in the next few months, but that's for us to put right on the pitch. There is pressure, but that comes with playing for Liverpool. "As I've said many times, it hasn't always been rosey playing for Liverpool. Last season wasn't great and I remember going 12 games without a win under Gerard Houllier, so it hasn't always been plain sailing." He added: "The atmosphere in the dressing room is fine, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to realise when you win games it's better. That's obvious at every club." Carragher is expected to captain Liverpool in tonight's clash in Italy after Steven Gerrard remained behind on Merseyside in preparation for Sunday's head-to-head with Blackburn. The No.23 fully understands the decision of manager Hodgson to rest the likes of Gerrard and Fernando Torres, and will aim to spur his teammates on to success at the Stadio San Paolo in their absence. He said: "From my point of view, not a lot changes whether I've got the armband on or not. "I hope to try and lead and drive the team forward. As for Stevie and Fernando not being here, these are players who have played through the summer and if you continue to play every week, we've seen with Fernando that players will break down. The club are treating them in the right way." Asked by reporters about the significance of the clash with Napoli, Carragher replied: "Every game I play or Liverpool are involved in is very significant. We always want to do as well as we can. "For me every game I play for Liverpool, I give 100 per cent. Hopefully I will play tonight and hopefully I will play on Sunday. Every game I play, I want to win." Tonight represents the first ever meeting between Liverpool and Napoli and Italian reporters were keen to test Carra's knowledge on the Reds' opponents, who are currently flying high in Serie A. "Before the game we will have a meeting about Napoli and we'll know a lot more," he said. "Obviously to be in the competition means they did very well last season and they're near the top of the table this season. "They have Dossena, who was at Liverpool, and they have Cavani and Hamisk, so they are obviously a good team with a lot of good players. To be where they are in the league shows they are a good team and it's going to be a very difficult game." A sell-out crowd is expected at the Stadio San Paolo, but Carragher believes Liverpool have the necessary experience to handle a fervent atmosphere. He said: "We have experience of that at Anfield on European nights. I'm sure the Napoli fans will be a big help for them, but you have to show mental strength and responsibility on the pitch. "Hopefully our experience in Europe will enable us to deal with that, but obviously it's an added bonus for Napoli and that's something we have to deal with."

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