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Football: Fourth spot is in our own hands now -Finn.

Byline: DAVID PRIOR

SAMI HYYPIA called on his team-mates to retain their never-say-die spirit for the rest of the season after his last- gasp goal ensured Liverpool's Champions League fortunes were in their own hands.

The Finn admitted: ``Our destiny is in our own hands now.That's a good position to be in with just nine games left to play.

``We will need to play better than this to stay fourth,but results are all that matter at the moment. It was a big win for us and one I felt we deserved.

``It looked like it was going to be one of those days for us. We didn't play well.

``It's always my aim to score from corners and I must admit it was a great feeling to see the ball go in so late in the game.''

Houllier agreed that Liverpool's indomitable spirit would be crucial to their European ambitions.

The Frenchman claimed Hyypia's late effort was further proof that his players had the mental strength to hold off the challenge of Charlton, Newcastle and others.

He said: ``We will never,never, never give in.That's a motto of our lads.

``This result is even more important from a mental point of view. The football will be all right as we've got the talent.

``The mental side of it will play a major part,and we'll be equipped for that.We've talked long about keeping going until the last minute. It's practically one of our assets that we know we'll never give in.''

Wolves' former Liverpool captain Paul Ince admitted he was ``absolutely devastated'' by the result.

He said: ``I said to the players after the 4-0 defeat against Aston Villa that we needed to show some response in training and our next match, and every one of them has been fantastic.

``Liverpool created nothing until the last minue of injury time,and to keep them to that shows how well we played. It was an incredible effort from the team,and that makes losing like that all the harder to take.

``Liverpool got away with it today. They did not really deserve the points.

``We are all down after this result but have always had spirit and feel we can still get out of it. We still have to play some of the teams down there with us and still have a great chance. I still have an appetite for the game as well.''

Ince admitted his performance against players of the class of Steven Gerrard made him question whether he should go on for another year.

He added: ``I was up against a top-class player today in Stevie. I have been watching him in recent months,and he has been outstanding. He has been leading Liverpool on his own,but I feel I did well against him.

``That is maybe a spur to go on and have another year. When I can perform like that against a top-class player,maybe I should go on a bit longer.''

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Words:519
Previous Article:Football: Sami saves plodding Reds; Hyypia's late header sees hosts over the line,but question marks remain.
Next Article:Football: Capital gain as United prepare for Arsenal test; It was a confidence boost for ourselves before going into the Arsenal games -Ryan Giggs.


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