Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, believes they have turned a corner following back-to-back league wins.
Liverpool have been strongly criticised for results such as the defeat at Crystal Palace during a poor run last month, and Rodgers has also come under fire for leaving Steven Gerrard out of the starting line-up for the victory over Stoke last weekend.
“The feeling is certainly different,” said Rodgers after Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Leicester, with Gerrard scoring a crucial goal. “We were at a low, as everyone saw after the Crystal Palace game. The standard had to get way beyond that. I felt [the Palace defeat] could be the making of us. Our last two performances have shown we have got that character in the team.”
When asked about the furore surrounding his decision to drop Gerrard, he said: “You’ll always get criticised. Even when we were winning games last year and playing really well, we were criticised. I haven’t felt for Steven, because he and I are clear in our communication.
“To then win the game, him not to play, and the headline to be about us falling out was a disappointment. And disappointing for him, because he and I know it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Gerrard is currently negotiating a new deal at Anfield since his current contract expires in the summer. The club’s chief executive, Ian Ayre, believes the 34-year-old will remain at the club, even if he is no longer a player.
“We have made an offer to Steven and we have to be respectful to him and where he is in his career,” said Ayre. “There is no pressure from our side. He is an iconic part of this football club and we want to see him here for many years – and that is not just about his playing career.”
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