Liverpool 'not going to use any excuses' for poor start to Premier League says Steven Gerrard

 

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists no one is looking for excuses after defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United left the club third-bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds dominated most of yesterday's match at Anfield even after the 39th-minute dismissal of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Gerrard gave his side the lead with a smart volley seconds after half-time only for Rafael and a Robin van Persie penalty to ensure there was no improvement to the home side's worst start for 101 years.

But even though their first five matches have seen both Manchester clubs and Arsenal visit Merseyside Gerrard felt they should have done better than the two points they have accumulated so far.

"We are not going to use any excuses, we know how many points we've got on the board and it's not good enough," said the England captain.

"A club like Liverpool, especially at home, should be looking to take maximum points off those sides, it doesn't matter how good they are.

"But it is no time to panic. The fans can see what the manager is trying to do and they can see what the players are trying to do because they are educated supporters.

"We know if we keep applying that kind of effort and determination it will only be a matter of time before we go on a winning sequence.

"Not many sides will be able to live with us because we played some good stuff yesterday."

Gerrard admitted he was doubly disappointed to lose to United on a day when there was so much focus on recognising the work of the families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster at the club's first home match since the publication of the independent report which exonerated supporters of any blame in the 1989 tragedy which claimed 96 lives.

"Playing against Manchester United and trying to get three points means a lot to me," said Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was the youngest victim at Hillsborough.

"But because of the occasion and the timing of course I'd have loved nothing better to get three points and dedicate it to all the families.

"So there is an extra disappointment but I thought both sets of fans behaved really well, which was important.

"Although we got beat I feel slightly different to usual because I am really pleased with how we played and we will win a lot of matches playing worse than that, so that is the positive we will take away."

Gerrard also sympathised with Shelvey after his dismissal for a lunge on Jonny Evans.

Manager Brendan Rodgers felt either both or neither player should have been sent off as both tackles were equally as bad and Gerrard agreed.

"I feel for Jonjo a bit because it is a big game and these big games are about big tackles," he said.

"I don't think he got the tackle wrong because if his tackle is wrong Evans' tackle is wrong as well.

"That is the consistency we are looking for in referees and Mark Halsey's got that one wrong."

PA

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