GERRARD PRAISES RAFA MAN-MANAGEMENT

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Steven Gerrard has praised Rafa Benitez’s man-management, claiming it is a pleasure to play in the current Liverpool team.

The skipper believes his Spanish boss has taken the Reds to new heights this term by creating a true team ethic down at Melwood and Anfield.

Gerrard told LFC Magazine: “It is an absolute pleasure to play in this Liverpool team – I really mean that.

“We’ve got world-class players, we’ve turned in some fantastic displays of attacking football and some really, really solid defensive performances.

“There are no stars in this team, or no one with any airs or graces. We’re one unit, we work hard for each other and we all pull in the same direction.

“We’ve got absolutely everything you need to be successful at the very highest level.

“We’ve got players making an impact from the start and boys coming off the bench and affecting the game. I’ve got to pay tribute to the manager because it’s difficult for him picking only 11 players for the starting line-up.

“Keeping the lads on the bench and those who have missed out on the squad in the frame of mind to make a significant contribution is a difficult task, but Rafa’s been able to do that this season.

“That’s not an easy balancing act but he manages it brilliantly. He and his coaches keep everyone hungry and ready when they’ve been needed. As a player now you can’t be selfish. Certainly, you can’t be selfish at Liverpool.

“It’s a squad game, and if you’re not in the starting line-up you can’t be thinking, ‘I’m giving in’.”

Gerrard added: “They’ve instilled this winning mentality in us. It’s simple really – it’s been drummed into us since the boss came to the club.

“No matter how the game’s going, no matter what the scoreline is, or no matter how you might be playing personally, you keep doing the right things all the time and keep going until the end.”

Liverpool finished 11 points behind United last term but, with just three games to go this time around, that gap has been reduced to just three.

Despite the improvement, Gerrard has identified areas to be addressed – including slashing this season’s haul of seven home draws.

“If we are to go on to win the league this season there are a few lessons we can learn to take into the next year,” he added.

“If we don’t, there will still be things we can improve to make sure we are a better team next season. We have to use this one to our benefit, no matter what happens in the future.

“For example, there have been too many draws at Anfield for our liking.

“We are a great side away from home. We’re strong, can be physical, don’t lose too many goals and are dangerous opponents for anyone. It’s difficult sometimes when you come up against these teams who arrive at Anfield with virtually every player behind the ball.

“No one comes to play attacking football because they respect what we can do and know they’re going to be picked off and destroyed.

“We need to be more ruthless at home. It would certainly have helped us out this season. There are points there that, if we had taken them, we would be top with three games to go.

“But we’ll keep going until the end. We won’t surrender when we’re so close. Winning the title with this club would mean the world to me.”

Gerrard admits to feelings of ‘anger’ in previous campaigns when Liverpool have been out of the race by Christmas. Such memories have acted as extra motivation this time around.

“I’m not going to lie,” the Huyton-born midfielder added. “Being out of the title race in January and being 30 points behind the leaders is frustrating for me.

“If being in that position doesn’t frustrate you, then you’re not the player for me. There’s something wrong with you. But I think that anger and those feelings have helped me, certainly, and the others to get much closer to it this season.

“We have to be proud of our achievements this season, whatever happens.

“If United close it out then we’re going to have a right good go over the next three, four or five years and I believe we’re too good not to win it.

“I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that this team will win the Premier League trophy. I believe I’ll get my hands on it.”

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~ by awbroady on May 7, 2009.

One Response to “GERRARD PRAISES RAFA MAN-MANAGEMENT”

  1. steven gerrard is fit and i have gad him in my bed befor take me back gerrard

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