CAPTAIN Steven Gerrard has warned their Europa League rivals not to underestimate Liverpool.

Despite what has been a disappointing season for the Reds, the England ace stressed they were not prepared to give up without a fight.

‘‘It’s very dangerous to bet against Liverpool, especially when our backs are to the wall,’’ said the 29-year-old, who, along with Jamie Carragher, is one of only two remaining squad members who played in the 5-4 UEFA Cup final victory over Alaves in 2001.

‘‘This season has been inconsistent and hasn’t gone to plan. However, for me as captain and for the team, we’ve got one more trophy to lift.

‘‘So we’ll be giving everything to go all the way. Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I’ve lifted the UEFA Cup before.

‘‘It’s a special trophy, and 2001 was a superb final.

Hopefully we can experience the same feeling this season.’’ Gerrard believes the fivetime European champions’ extensive history means they always face a tough task when they take on teams from the continent.

And he does not expect any less from Romanians Unirea Urziceni, who they face tonight at Anfield.

‘‘I’ve always found in Europe that Liverpool have more problems against less well-known teams because of the surprise factor,’’ he said.

‘‘To play Liverpool is a big game for Unirea and they’ll be looking for a big upset and will be very dangerous.

‘‘But (manager) Rafa (Benitez) will make sure that the team is prepared.”

Meanwhile, Benitez has ridiculed the idea of a play-off for the final Champions League place, claiming clubs ‘‘will be playing until the end of the century’’.

Reports this week claimed the Premier League were looking into the prospect of having the sides from fourth to seventh face each other post-season to decide the remaining spot for Europe’s elite club competition.

‘‘I have to agree with David Moyes,’’ said the Liverpool boss.

“He said what would it mean for a team like Tottenham if they finish fourth and, after a fantastic season, have to play a team who finishes seventh maybe 20 points behind just to keep the competition alive?”