Rodgers denies restricting Liverpool captain Gerrard

Brendan Rodgers does not believe the way in which he has asked Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to play is the reason the midfielder has had trouble finding the back of the net this season, the Guardian has reported.

Gerrard has been on target only twice all season – and not since September – but Rodgers believes other factors are more telling than any change in position or tactics. Gerrard has played 21 times for Liverpool this season and, aside from his goal at Anfield against Manchester United, has scored against only Gomel in the Europa League. Last season Gerrard scored eight goals, including three in four games over New Year and a hat-trick against Everton.

Rejecting the suggestion that the long-term absence of Lucas Leiva has meant Gerrard has been asked to play a more defensive role, Rodgers instead blamed the bounce of the ball for why the England skipper has not been more prolific. He said: “ Look at the very end of the game against Swansea on Sunday.

The ball comes into the box right at the death and if Daniel Agger heads it back Steven Gerrard is in the box to finish. A lot of that goes unnoticed because he’s not getting that final chance to score.

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