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  Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
Houllier stays positive
Gerard Houllier sits it out as Christian Gross looks on
Gerard Houllier sits it out as Christian Gross looks on
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Gerard Houllier insists Liverpool are still on course for Champions League qualification - despite being held to a disappointing draw by Basle at Anfield.

Liverpool remain without a win after two games as they followed up defeat in Valencia with a 1-1 draw against Christian Gross's side.

Czech youngster Milan Baros put Liverpool ahead - but Julio Hernan Rossi equalised near the end of a first half in which the Merseysiders struck the woodwork three times.

Houllier said: "Our next two games now are vital, we can still qualify.

Rossi beats Dudek to equalise
Rossi beats Dudek to equalise

"This was such a frustrating night. I feel so disappointed for the players because they gave everything and tried everything.

"We played some great stuff and should have been four up at least at the break."

And Houllier insisted Liverpool were denied a clear penalty in the final minutes when Danny Murphy's free-kick appeared to be handled.

He added: "It was a clear penalty. It wasn't just ball to hand, it was a clear hand out from the player to stop the shot.

"We had plenty of chances. We deserved to win not just because of our chances but the quality of our football.

"I'm proud of our performance, we had the right frame of mind and the right approach.

"The group is still very open, and the next two games are vital. But I'm confident that the type of play we are producing will see us through."

Gross admitted his men had been fortunate and said: "We were a little bit lucky. They created a lot of chances but we never looked nervous and we kept our discipline.

"They had plenty of possession but you have to expect that at Anfield.

"We showed excellent spirit and I used two strikers because we felt we could come away with something. We certainly go home stronger than when we arrived."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"Defensive sloppiness cost Liverpool"
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"We were very unlucky"
Basle boss Christian Gross
"This point keeps us in a good position"

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25 Sep 02 | Champions League
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