Rodgers dismisses Gerrard concerns

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed concerns about captain Steven Gerrard, insisting that he is still a key player for the club despite recent criticism of his form, BBC Sport has reported.

Following a poor start to the season which has seen Liverpool lose three of their first five Premier League matches, Gerrard has been singled out by some as having underperformed, with doubters claiming that he has not recovered from the double disappointment of the Reds failing to win the title last season and England having fallen short at the World Cup.

The 34-year-old is set to be rested on Tuesday for the visit of Middlesbrough to Anfield in the Capital One Cup, with youngsters such as Sheyi Ojo and Jordan Rossiter possibly in line to feature.

And ahead of the game, Rodgers challenged claims that his skipper is struggling for form. He said: “I have no concerns about him. We have managed his recovery really well in the last two seasons, even when Steven was playing international football. If you look at his numbers and games, it has been as good as ever.

“He is at the age where we need to treat him individually. We want him to be involved in the big games because of his experience and we will always taper that recovery to allow him to be at the very best he can be.”

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