Stewart Downing 300
STEWART DOWNING admits Liverpool FC continue to be undermined by their inability to put away chances.
Another afternoon of Anfield frustration saw Kenny Dalglish’s side held to a 1-1 home Premier League draw by struggling Aston Villa on Saturday.
Luis Suarez’s 82nd-minute strike equalised Chris Herd’s early opener, but Liverpool hit the woodwork four times while Dirk Kuyt missed a clear chance from a matter of yards.
And with the second part of their Easter double-header to come at Blackburn Rovers tomorrow, Downing accepts missed opportunities remain the team’s Achilles heel.
“I thought we deserved to win, we created a lot of chances but we didn't finish them off,”said the former Villa winger.
“We have to keep drumming the same message into ourselves – keep being positive, keep creating chances and it will fall for us in the end.
“We've got to keep getting people in the box and keep creating chances and hopefully it will turn for us.
“Obviously, you can't keep going on a run like this where we keep missing chances. It will turn and hopefully at Blackburn we will get three points.”
Tomorrow’s visit to Ewood Park is Liverpool’s final game before their FA Cup semi-final against Everton next Saturday.
And Downing added:“It would be nice to get a win before the semi-final.
“Form goes out of the window for a semi-final, but I still think you need to go into it with a bit of form and players who are playing with good confidence.
“We've got a big game (at Blackburn) to prepare for it and it's a big week for the club.”
Of Saturday’s game with Villa, Downing said: “They took the lead and made it difficult for us. They were probably delighted with the draw, but we've stopped the losing run so that's a positive.
“Villa defended very well, but we dominated the second half and created a lot of chances. But we were disappointed we didn't start the game well enough. Villa took the lead and that gave them confidence.”
Meanwhile, Villa manager Alec McLeish has revealed he tried to persuade Liverpool striker Andy Carroll to pledge his allegiance to Scotland.
McLeish, who was in charge of the Tartan Army in 2007, said: “Andy Carroll is a great player and I tried to get him to play for Scotland, but the mug decided to play for England.”
The Scot praised Villa centre-backs James Collins and Eric Lichaj for their performance against Carroll’s fellow Liverpool striker Suarez.
“Suarez is world class,” said McLeish. “I am so proud of the way the two centre halves handled him because he drifts into different positions, he is very clever, creative, one-twos gives and goes.
“He got his goal but I thought the guys played him very well.
“We spoke about watching him when we had the ball. We tried to lock on to him when we had the ball so there weren't any quick breaks from Liverpool.
“But he is such a good player that you'll never pin him down for 90 minutes.”