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Gerrard insists Liverpool will 'strengthen' after FA Cup disappointment

The England international claims that, despite winning the League Cup and reaching the FA Cup final, the season has been a failure and maintains his team must do better next year.

Steven Gerrard insisted Liverpool will come back stronger next season after disappointment in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

After Fulham's win on Sunday, the Reds are now ninth in the Premier League table with two games to go, and the England international admits that the club's campaign has not been acceptable, despite victory in the League Cup.

"We are Liverpool, we will bounce back. We will strengthen in the summer and we will come back and fight again. That’s what this club does," he told The Daily Telegraph. "All through my career it’s been about highs and lows. This is a big low. My opinion has not changed on how the season has gone.

"We have been superb in the cup competitions, reaching two finals, and you have to give the players a lot of credit for that. But the league form has not been good enough."

The Reds have won just five league games at Anfield in club legend Kenny Dalglish’s first full season back in charge, and the 31-year-old skipper believes it is up to the players to make changes.

"We need to find a better level of consistency in the league – the performances haven’t been good enough," he concluded. "There are no excuses. We as players need to take responsibility for that showing because the players we have in that dressing room are certainly not eighth best in the league."

Saturday's FA Cup final saw the Merseyside club concede two goals in an insipid display before improving, and getting a goal back through Andy Carroll after the giant striker’s introduction in the second half.

"I think on our second half performance we certainly deserved to take Chelsea to extra-time," the midfielder said. "But I don’t think we did enough over the 90 minutes to deserve to win the game."

Teammate Daniel Agger also regretted the failure to take the game to the Blues in the first half, and lamented his side's inability to take chances that presented themselves.

"I really don’t know why we played as we did for the first 60 minutes. We didn’t turn up and you cannot afford to do that in an FA Cup final," he said. "We know these opportunities do not come along that often and that is why you have to take them when they do. Will it haunt us? Yes."

"When you get into an FA Cup final, you really want to win it. Nobody ever remembers the runners-up. That is how we will start to move forward. It is difficult right now to think about anything else. We can challenge the top teams next season. We have moved forward a lot this season but right now the only feelings are of disappointment."

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