Liverpool v Cardiff: Brendan Rodgers backs midfielders to cope in absence of Steven Gerrard

The club captain is currently out injured

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes he has a multi-functional midfield which can compensate for the loss of injured Steven Gerrard.

The England skipper is sidelined for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury but in his absence the trio of Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen helped tear Tottenham apart last weekend.

Allen, who Rodgers brought with him from Swansea in a £15million deal in the summer of 2012, had arguably his best match for the club after an up and down 18 months.

But Rodgers believes the Wales international did not get the credit his performance deserved as Henderson, who scored in the 5-0 win, and Luis Suarez, who got two, took the spotlight.

"I saw a report after the game which rated Joe Allen six out of 10, which I found remarkable," he said.

"I thought how the three of them (Allen, Henderson and Lucas) complemented each other was outstanding.

"You had Lucas in that controlling role. He did his job with the ball and was aggressive when he didn't have it.

"Joe is a dynamic player and he can control the possession while he's being aggressive in his pressure and Jordan is one who is comfortable on the ball with great running ability to get in and get goals.

"I thought the dynamic of the three was very good but what you can't rule out is the presence and the quality of Steven Gerrard.

"This guy is still a wonderful player. He's a monumental figure here and I've always said that if he's in the team, Liverpool are a better team.

"He's working very well to get back (to fitness) but what we showed was it's about the team.

"If the weekend reinforced anything it was that it really has to be about the model of our game.

"We can't rely on one player."

Even with Gerrard, striker Daniel Sturridge (ankle) and Jose Enrique (knee) out injured Rodgers believes there is enough competition in a small squad to prevent standards dropping.

After the 5-0 drubbing of fellow top-four rivals last weekend Liverpool host Cardiff at Anfield, where they have scored 20 goals in their past five appearances.

The manager is keen to avoid complacency and feels competition will help, providing players meet the challenge.

Vice-captain Daniel Agger's presence on the bench at Tottenham provoked a tentative loan enquiry from former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Napoli, who already has already taken their former first-choice goalkeeper Jose Reina on a temporary deal for the season.

But Rodgers is not inclined to allow players to leave and stressed the only way they will achieve their minimum aim of a return to the Champions League is if they present a united front.

And that means players putting in the same performance against the Premier League newcomers as they did against Spurs.

"If any game defines what we're trying to do here in terms of our football it was against Tottenham where the team was outstanding in every element," he said.

"It was a statement of how we've been working over the last 18 months or so.

"We feel that we're improving. The headlines are about football, which is important. We still feel that there's a way to go for us."

Rodgers is also keen for there to be no disharmony to their bid to finish in the top four, which may yet turn into a title challenge.

Victory in the early kick-off on Saturday would put Liverpool top of the table with Arsenal not playing until Monday.

"You saw the spirit in our team as well at the weekend. If you looked at our bench when we were scoring the goals and when we were winning, it was a happy bench," he said.

"I've always said to the players that aren't playing that it's their responsibility to support the players that are playing.

"There's very much a togetherness here, and that's one of the key facets of the season so far.

"This season won't be about 11 players for us, it will be about the whole squad.

"Of course some are going to play more than others but they are professional players at the end of the day.

"Every time someone is on the bench there shouldn't be a question of 'Does he go?', or do other people come and want to take them on loan.

"The job as a professional footballer is to work hard, be professional and respect your team-mates and that is what they are doing."


Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own