Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted his team could have done without the added strain of extra time during their Capital One Cup win over Notts County just days before they host Manchester United in the Premier League at Anfield, Sky
The Reds took a two-goal lead early in the game through Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge but County fought back in the second-half to level the scores after 90 minutes. Liverpool rallied to net twice in extra time but the win came at a cost, with Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen picking up injuries, while Kolo Toure was stretchered off.
Despite reaching the next round – where they have been paired with Manchester United – Gerrard revealed there was a feeling of disappointment around the squad because of the manner of victory and the injuries suffered to teammates. “That wasn’t what we wanted. We’re going away slightly disappointed,” Gerrard said.
“Yeah, we’re in the draw and we’re in the hat and obviously pleased to be through, but it was exactly what we didn’t want really,” Gerrard added. “One hundred and twenty minutes and a lot of players who are going to be starting on Sunday have played too much football.
“There’s no doubt about it, extra-time, playing that amount of minutes, is a bit of a blow to us. I think the game plan was to get the game won, done and dusted, and then try and rest a few for Sunday.”
United have had a free week by virtue of their involvement in the Champions League, which means they enter the competition a round later than Brendan Rodgers’ side. Rodgers now has to contend with the injuries picked up ahead of the visit of the champions at the weekend, with Gerrard speculating that extra time played a factor in the case of Toure.
“Maybe he wouldn’t have suffered that injury if it’d finished after 90 minutes, so we have ourselves to blame for his injury,” Gerrard said. “We all have to take responsibility for that, but fingers crossed it’s not too bad. We’ve got an international break coming up as well so hopefully he won’t miss too many games.”
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