Date: 30th October 2014 at 3:32pm
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After a pulsating late comeback against Swansea on Tuesday night, the Reds kept their cup hopes alive.

Coming into the Anfield tie, the Reds hadn’t played well for two months winning only three of ten and failing to find any rhythm.

And whilst Tuesday’s cup tie was hardly a vintage performance, there were plenty of encouraging signs.

The Reds were much better in possession and even defended solidly with Kolo Touré and Dejan Lovren looking comfortable at the back.

The home side still struggled to create many clear cut chances despite Philippe Coutinho’s constant attempts to unlock the defence.

In fact it wasn’t until the 86th minute that Fabio Borini managed to get in behind the visitor’s defence and cross for his compatriot Mario Balotelli to equalise.

With Borini’s constant running and Balotelli’s impact off the bench surely the Italian duo will start this weekend against Newcastle.

Upon taking the job two and a half years ago Brendan said there were three main things he was aiming to do.

Win trophies, play good football and bring through young talent.

During his first season ‘good football’ seemed to be passing the ball aimlessly around midfield and we often struggled to break teams down.

The second half of last season showed exactly what Brendan meant when talking about good football.

Even critics (and there are plenty) had to admit, through gritted teeth, that we were on a different level in our attacking play last season.

Unfortunately this season we have regressed on the pitch, caught out trying to play the same cavalier style as last season but without the personnel to pull it off effectively.

With Sturridge due to return in a couple of weeks things should improve on this front and there can be no doubt that Brendan has dramatically improved our style of football.

There can also be no doubt that Brendan has brought through young players.

During his first few months in charge the Northern Irishman had little choice other than to go with youth.

The squad was so small that Suso and Raheem Sterling were regular starters up until January when reinforcements were brought in.

Suso did a good job without ever excelling but Sterling showed lots of potential and is now a crucial player for both club and country.

Brendan also used young defenders like Jon Flanagan and Andre Wisdom who could well go on to be a big part of the Reds defence in the future.

Not to mention Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen, both only 22 when the boss arrived, who are now two of our most reliable central midfielders.

But while Brendan can claim he has improved our style of play and brought through young players he is yet to win a trophy.

Last season he came so close to delivering the Premier League title but aside from that inspired effort we haven’t come close to a trophy since Brendan took over.

During his time as chief executive Rick Parry once said that Liverpool FC exists to win trophies.

Parry certainly made plenty of mistakes during his time at Anfield (Athens 2007 chief amongst them) but there can be no doubt that on this occasion he got it spot on.

Media reports that Chelsea could go the whole season unbeaten are grossly premature with 29 games left but Mourinho’s side do look heavy favourites to win the league.

Meanwhile in Europe it looks more likely that we will bow out in the group stages and win the Europa League than make a serious attempt at winning our sixth European Cup.

So that leaves us the two domestic cups.

While the Capital One Cup is a distant fourth in the Reds list of priorities it is certainly our best chance of lifting a trophy.

Brendan seems to know that as well, while most teams rotate their squad in the cups Brendan fielded a strong first XI against Middlesbrough in the third round and did the same on Tuesday night.

Opposition fans like to call it the Mickey Mouse Cup (only after being knocked out of course) but Brendan seems like he’s going all out for the cup.

Judging from the atmosphere last night, the fans feel the same way.

The crowd never stopped encouraging the team and erupted after Dejan Lovren scored the winner.

While the fans will demand an improvement in the league, a good cup run could be the catalyst to help us push for the top four.

And after Tuesday’s dramatic victory Brendan is one step closer to hitting the third goal he set for himself.


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