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Saturday, February 9, 2013
Rodgers: Gerrard keeps getting better

ESPN staff

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Steven Gerrard is still the heart and soul of the Reds and has backed the midfielder to continue his illustrious career for many years to come.

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Gerrard, 32, will becoming the longest standing member of the Liverpool line-up when defender Jamie Carragher retires at the end of the season, but Rodgers is adamant the skipper has not shown signs of ending his Anfield career any time soon.

After a shaky start to the season by his own high standards, a resurgent Gerrard has sparked life back into Liverpool's season and proved his worth to the national team with a strong performance in the midweek friendly win over Brazil.

"I think it was difficult for him at the start of the season: a new manager coming in, he'd not long returned from the European Championships which was obviously a disappointment for him and he was straight into the big games," Rodgers said. "But you have to give great credit to him because of how he has focused on his game and the areas that we talked about continually improving.

"His standard has always been there but maybe he has not got recognition for that because the team was not quite at the level. But he has been instrumental now for a number of months. He is adapting and modifying his game but he still has the qualities he has always had.

"He was outstanding (for England) the other night playing in that slightly deeper, controlling role which I think he can play as the years go on. He is able to dictate the rhythm of the game and some of the invention and creativity in his passing was brilliant and defensively he was very good.

"This is a guy who has everything in the locker: a wonderful professional, a great man off the field - a real inspiration for any young player - who leads his life the right way. You see him on the field, his range of passing, his touch and his leadership qualities and his influence is getting stronger for me."




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