After an abysmal Premiership campaign this season Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has spoken out against the immense fan backlash that the club has received, pleading for fans to give the squad time to improve.
With just two wins under their belt in 2012 the club's league standing is a far cry from their performances in the Carling Cup (which they lifted in February) and the FA Cup (of which they have reached the semi-final, facing Everton on April 14).
Having lost six out of seven league matches in a row fans have released an outpouring of criticism towards much-maligned manager Kenny Dalglish and his underperforming players, but Gerrard has insisted that the squad's performance will improve, saying: "There are a lot of challenges ahead this season. I'd ask the supporters to be patient; we will get it right. We have had a mixed March. We're in a league position we're not happy about and we need to look at ourselves and try to move up the league as soon as possible."
Liverpool have dropped to eighth place in the league with stern neighbouring rivals Everton overtaking them by one point. This is surely revenge for Everton fans as just last month they witnessed their club being humbled by an uncharacteristically fiery Liverpool, with Gerrard scoring a hat-trick against them – the first to occur in a Merseyside derby for almost 30 years.
For that feat Gerrard was awarded the club's player of the month award, but Gerrard still acknowledges that this achievement pales in comparison to his team's collective underperformance, saying: "It's always nice to be rewarded for personal achievements, but from day one I have always said it's about the team. It's nice as a player to know you're doing your job properly, but now I need to help the team to improve and become more consistent.
"The Everton game was obviously a highlight for me in March. It was a great team performance but besides that there weren't many highlights. Let's hope April has many more and that we can climb up the table and get to the FA Cup final.
"Although we have been inconsistent in the league we have shown we are a stronger squad and can beat anyone."