• Players confident they can go one better in 2010
• Liverpool want Pepe Reina to win the Golden Glove
Liverpool's players insist that they will be back in Manchester United's faces again in next season's title race. Defender Jamie Carragher, following his on-field bust-up with team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina have led the defiant call.
And Carragher revealed it was his frustration at poor defending that led to the pushing match with Arbeloa in Sunday's 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion. He said: "It was just frustration, nothing more, it was over with quickly. We cannot win the league now but there are a number of targets we can aim for.
"We wanted to keep a clean sheet and we want Pepe Reina to have a chance of the Golden Glove for the third season running. Pepe is one behind [Edwin] Van der Sar now and there's a chance Van der Sar won't play next weekend for Manchester United, so we wanted to make sure Pepe got a clean sheet at West Brom, and again next week in our final match.
"To be honest we were a bit lackadaisical in our defending all through the game at the Hawthorns and they had too many chances. Maybe we took it a bit too easy and let them attack us too much, but that was one of the toughest games I've played in all season. We go all over Europe playing top teams and we play against the best sides in this country, but that was one of the hardest games we have had."
Carragher admitted he was already looking forward to making another title challenge next season, with Liverpool now facing the prospect of becoming the only side in top-flight history to have lost just two matches in a season and not won the crown.
He said: "It is hard to win the Premier League because our top four sides plus Barcelona probably make up the best five sides in Europe. That is the challenge we face. You can look at the statistics and it is impressive that we have only lost two games and scored lots of goals, but United have got more points than us and credit to them because that is what matters."
Reina said: "We have already beaten the club record in terms of Premier League points and we tried our hardest to do our best at the end of the season, but it wasn't enough because United didn't slip at any time.
"They were quite strong so we have to congratulate them and keep pushing for the next few years. We are really proud to be closer but we will be even prouder to win it. That is the next step.
"We are becoming a stronger team because when I first joined Liverpool we were something like 30 points behind them and now it is only three or four points, so we have to keep pushing them and try to win it next season."
Brazilian midfielder Lucas underlined the mood at Anfield, saying: "We have showed that we have the quality to fight for the title and we will desperate to go one better and win it next season. We have 83 points with a game to go. Next season our challenge is to get more than 86 points and try to win the title."
Lucas admits it was hard to watch Manchester United get the point they required to win the title on Saturday, and he could not watch the title celebrations at Old Trafford. He said: "I watched the game but when they were about to receive the trophy I switched off my TV. United deserve the title because they have been consistent but we know we can do it next season.
"Last year in the January we were out of the fight for the title but this time we were right up there challenging, so that shows we are a good team. We have to believe in ourselves next season and we have the quality to win the title."
Victory at the Hawthorns was also Liverpool's 13th away win in the top flight this season, equalling a club record set 104 years ago. Lucas added: "Our away form has been really good. We have scored a lot of goals and won a lot of games, but the main disappointment for us this year was drawing too many games at home. We knew that could be the key and cost us at the end of the season – and unfortunately we were right."
Meanwhile, Dirk Kuyt played down the exchange between Carragher and Arbeloa. He said: "It shows that the team always wants to win even though we weren't playing for anything. It was over in five seconds, though."
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