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EXCLUSIVE: Carling Cup final shows Liverpool FC are on 'right track'

by Richard Buxton. Published Wed 22 Feb 2012 13:00, last updated: 22/02/12

Steve McManaman believes Liverpool reaching the Carling Cup final shows they are on the 'right track'.

Kenny Dalglish's side will contest the first showpiece of the English football season against Championship side Cardiff City on Sunday in their first Wembley appearance in over 16 years.

Another appearance at the national stadium in the semi final of the FA Cup could follow should they manage to overcome Stoke City in the last eight of the competition while they remain in with a chance of Champions League qualification at just four points adrift of the Premier League's top four.

McManaman helped Liverpool lift the 1995 League Cup with a brace against Bolton Wanderers and, speaking exclusively to Click Liverpool, feels the progress made under Dalglish in his first full season back at the helm indicates that his former club are finally making positive strides again.

He said: "It's vitally important for a big team like Liverpool with its huge history to get into the final. It's great for the fans to be back at Wembley and great for Kenny in the 13 months since he took over to reach a final without a shadow of a doubt.

"I don't think it's necessarily an obsession. At the beginning of every season there's only three tournaments to play for and sometimes the league, because of people's spending power now, is beyond some teams so really the cup competitions are important for people to go and win.

"The fact that Liverpool have got there and are doing so well in the FA Cup I think speaks volumes.

"It shows that they're on the right track and gives all the fans a lift because the last couple of years have not been as successful as they have been before."

The former Real Madrid midfielder also offered an insight into the emotion which surrounds final appearances at Wembley having also featured in Liverpool's last outing there, back in 1996.

"When you're young and you start going to football matches, the dream is of your team getting to Wembley. I was lucky I went numerous times with my father and I adored it," he added.

"To reach it as a player, win, and give the fans a trophy that they all deserve is everything. Being there as a fan and as a player is incredibly fulfilling and I know it's a huge, huge occasion.

"Hopefully Liverpool will go on and win it and make it the perfect day."

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"In reality Cardiff stood in for Wembley so you can't really say it's 15 years." Chunky, Liverpool around 3 years, 5 months ago

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