Brendan Rodgers Hopeful Steven Gerrard ‘Will Be Alright’ Following Chelsea Draw


Brendan Rodgers is hopeful Steven Gerrard ‘will be alright’ despite a medial ligament problem sustained in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

The skipper went to ground midway through the second half but continued until the end — and his fitness will now be assessed ahead of a potential 100th England cap against Sweden on Wednesday.

“I think Steven will be alright,” Rodgers said. “He has just opened up his medial ligament a bit. He has got some ice on his knee and we’ll find out the full extent later on.”

Another midfielder with fitness concerns is Jonjo Shelvey, who missed out on a place in the squad for Stamford Bridge after feeling a problem with his thigh in training.

“We wanted to give him an opportunity [to play] right up until the end,” said the boss. “He was in some shooting exercises in training the other day and just felt his thigh a little bit. We didn’t want to risk it in case he pulled his thigh and was injured for a lot longer.

“The England medical team will look at him and we’ll make a decision from there.”

Luis Suarez earned Liverpool a point with his 11th goal of the season, levelling a John Terry header during a much-improved second half performance from the Reds.

Rodgers took the blame for what he labelled a ‘tentative’ first half.

“We were a wee bit tentative in the first half, and that was my fault,” he said. “We normally play with three front players to press the ball much higher up the field. We played 3-5-2 in the first half just to see if we could get Luis a bit of support up front and still have the superiority in midfield with three midfield players.

“With the two front players we just couldn’t get our distances right.

“We just couldn’t quite press it and that’s a big part of our game, because it allows us to be on the front foot.

“Once we changed it and went back to 4-2-3-1 we got more onto the front foot again. Great character traits by the players once again in the second half. I know as well as anyone how difficult it is here, so it’s a terrific point and we could have won it in the end.”

Liverpool is now 13th in the Barclays Premier League. Asked what was required to climb the table, Rodgers replied: “We need one or two more players, it’s as simple as that. That was our sixth draw, and in a lot of those games we’ve come back from being behind. We’ve got great character and resilience and survival instincts in the group, and we’re dominating games with the ball — but you need materials.

“If we can hopefully get one or two in January who can help us at the top end of the field we’ll turn draws into wins.

“Luis just needs that support of instinctive goalscorers.

“Last year the club finished eighth. If we can improve on that, that would be fantastic in terms of where we’re at. That’s the reality of where Liverpool are at, I’m afraid.

“Hopefully over the next couple of years we can improve and our young players will only get better and better.

“The club has given me brilliant support since I came in here. The owners have brought me in and given me great security in terms of the plan going forward. This was always going to be a difficult year because of the expectancy at Liverpool.

“The supporters have been outstanding, the players have given me everything, and hopefully over the next couple of windows we can keep adding to the group, and then next season we’ll be better for it.”

“The supporters are very educated,” Rodgers added. “It can’t be easy for them. Most of us in the room know the great history of the club, but we can’t keep looking in the rear view mirror and looking back. We have to go forward.

“If you’re not going to have a massive investment that will make it happen very quickly, you’ve got to develop it. That’s where we’re at.

“The supporters, I’m sure, see that. They are being very lenient with myself and the team so far, and I’m sure they’ll be frustrated at times, but you can see from today and every other game we’ve had, the support has been absolutely incredible.

“Like always, I thank them for that.”

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