AGGER: WE CAN COMPETE NEXT SEASON
Daniel Agger insists Liverpool can challenge "the top teams" next season despite another disappointing Premier League campaign.
Liverpool could finish as low as 10th if they fail to shake off Saturday's FA Cup final loss at the hands of Chelsea, a side they meet again this evening in their penultimate league game of the campaign.
Defeat tonight would see them condemned to finish below local rivals Everton but Agger insists there are signs of progress at Anfield.
The Denmark international said: "Can we challenge the top teams next season? Yes, of course.
"We have moved forward a lot this season but right now the only feelings are of disappointment."
Saturday's 2-1 defeat meant Liverpool failed to add a second trophy to their cabinet this season having already captured the Carling Cup.
Agger admits the defeat has left the dressing room deflated.
"There's not much more to say right now. We are all just so disappointed," he told the club's official website.
"We have got two games left in the season and we have got to try and win them. That is how we will start to move forward."
A late goal from former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson secured a 2-1 win for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge back in November and another victory would condemn the west London side to sixth spot in the league.
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish is likely to hand a start to Andy Carroll following his goal after coming off the bench on Saturday.
The 61-year-old had some tough decisions to make regarding his selection ahead of the final but he praised the reaction of the unfortunate players who did not make the team.
"His (Carroll's) attitude coming on as a substitute was exemplary," the Scot said. "He lifted it. Dirk (Kuyt) - great attitude as well."
The performances of some of Dalglish's players at Wembley were scrutinised in the aftermath of their defeat but he is hoping those individuals benefited from the big-game experience.
"You would hope so," he said. "The last half-hour, they got more belief in themselves.
"It is a big step up to get to the level that Chelsea play at from the level we have been playing at. But we gave it a good go in the last half-hour."
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