Liverpool must improve without Steven Gerrard, says Brendan Rodgers

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his team must improve without Steven Gerrard…

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted that his team must improve without Steven Gerrard, after leaving his captain on the bench for Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sunderland.

It’s the second time in three games that Rodgers has left the 34-year-old among his substitutes, and although an offer is on the table for the out-of-contract midfielder, it appears as if Liverpool are planning for life without their star man.

BBC Sport reports confirm that Rodgers has again played-down talk of a rift between himself and Gerrard and instead voiced his disappointment at other players failing to fill the void.

“We can’t always rely on him. It can’t be up to him every single game to be the catalyst.” Rodgers said. “His talent is world class but that contribution has to come around the team.”

“It is very hard to replace that quality, but that is something we will need,” he said. “He was excellent when he came on and of course he plays on Tuesday. He still has that talent, he has world-class ability and it is me looking to manage that.”

However, a well-rested Gerrard is likely to return during a crucial run of games for the Reds, which starts with Tuesday’s must-win Champions League tie with Basel.

“We have a big month ahead,” Rodgers added. “Until the new year there are big games and the management of Steven is fine, there is no problem with that.”

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