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Gerrard: Treat Norwich Like AC Milan

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As Liverpool enter the most important stretch of matches they've faced in decades, their captain is calling for the squad to treat the next match with the importance it deserves.

Remember these kits? (Remember Nuri Sahin?!)
Remember these kits? (Remember Nuri Sahin?!)
Julian Finney

In an attempt to truly stretch the boundaries of the "every match is a cup final" cliche, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has demanded that his teammates take their upcoming visit to East Anglia as seriously as Liverpool did their visit to Istanbul nine years ago.

"We have to treat Norwich like AC Milan in 2005," Gerrard said. "We have to forget what colour their kit is and the personnel wearing it and treat them as the best players in the world.

"We have to forget where we are and forget what we've done. We have to prepare for Norwich like it's the last game of our careers. Every game is going to get bigger and bigger because we are getting close to that last game of the season."

Presumably treating Norwich like the AC Milan of 2005 doesn't include going down three-nil by halftime, but Gerrard's larger point about complacency is not unwarranted. Norwich have been rather generous in regularly gifting Liverpool with three points since their return to the Premier League, and it would be all too easy to assume Luis Suarez and his hat tricks are a sure thing on Sunday.

A win over Norwich would see Liverpool stretch their winning streak to eleven straight, but Gerrard isn't at all interested in the feel good factor of such an achievement, just how those wins translate into points at the end of the season.

"You get nothing for 10 successive wind apart from a pat on the back, and we've had plenty of those," Gerrard explained. "What is key as a footballer is getting something to show for all the hard work -- we could go and win 13 in a row and lose the last one and we won't get anything, no one will remember it.

"The only thing people will remember is if we go on to achieve what we all want."

It a bit of a discredit to what Liverpool have accomplished this season to say no one will remember it if they don't win the title -- this season more than any in recent memory certainly has a certain something that will last past the final whistle on May 11 -- but if Liverpool do end up top of the table by season's end, that alone will eclipse everything else they've achieved this year.