Quarter-finals

Lucas eager for Wembley date

November 29, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has underlined the team's desire to make it to Wembley in the Carling Cup final.

Lucas Leiva: Signed from Gremio
GettyImagesLucas Leiva: Signed from Gremio in 2007

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Manager Kenny Dalglish has surprised many by naming a strong team throughout the competition when he was expected to rest stars such as Luis Suarez. Now Liverpool travel to Chelsea on Tuesday evening just three games away from a date at the national stadium.

Not since 1996, when Liverpool lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup final, have the Reds played at Wembley. And Liverpool's last piece of silverware came when they beat West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Lucas, who was outstanding in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, wants to make sure Liverpool make their first appearance at the capital's landmark stadium in 16 years.

"You can see from the first game we played in the Carling Cup (at League One strugglers Exeter) we take the competition really seriously,'' said Lucas. "We want to go to Wembley. We have a tough match away again - we haven't played at home (this season) in the Carling Cup.

"If we get through to the semi-final it will show how committed we are with this club. This kind of match you don't need any extra motivation because it is a big game, a quarter-final, and it is a chance to win a trophy.''

But Lucas did echo manager Kenny Dalglish's concerns about the quarter-final tie taking place just two days after the game with City.

"As the manager said, when we saw the draw it is a bit unfair because we only have 24 hours off in between,'' said the 24-year-old. "It is not the best for recovery but I think we have a very good staff and they will do everything we need to be 100% in the next game.

"No-one will be fresh for that game, that is for sure, but we will do our best to get ready and get another victory to get to the semi-final.''

Dalglish was so angry over the scheduling of the match, and the inflexibility of the Premier League, Football League and Sky television, that he warned supporters to think carefully about buying tickets for the game as he was considering playing a youth team.

With the likes of Maxi Rodriguez, scorer in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge the weekend before last, £35 million striker Andy Carroll, veterans Craig Bellamy and Jamie Carragher and highly-rated England Under-21 international Martin Kelly all set to play, Liverpool have plenty of depth.