Liverpool v Sunderland: Steven Gerrard told to be 'more cautious' with midfielder one yellow card away from two-game ban

Gerrard will be forced to miss two-matches if he picks up another yellow card before April 13 due to the 10-booking suspension

Steven Gerrard has been warned by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to be “more cautious” with his defence with the midfielder just one yellow card away from picking up a two-match ban that would impact Liverpool’s Premier League title charge.

The Reds captain has excelled in a deep midfield position after adapting to the new role, allowing Jordan Henderson to push higher up the field and turn in a string of impressive performances. However, his deployment in front of the back-four has also seen him pick up a number of yellow cards, receiving seven in his last 10 appearances and leaving him on a total for the season of nine.

Should he pick up another booking before April 13, Gerrard will have to sit out two of their remaining eight matches, beginning with the visit of Sunderland to Anfield on Wednesday. With further matches to come against Tottenham, West Ham and crucially Manchester City before the suspension cut-off date, Gerrard can ill-afford to pick up another caution, although Rodgers has stressed he has no plans to rest him until then.

“We just have to cope with (the situation),” Rodgers said at Tuesday’s pre-match press conference. “I have spoken to him about it. It’s difficult and we just have to be that extra bit more careful. I think he has been very unlucky.

“His last two bookings, the one against Manchester United should never have been a booking.

 

“It was a great jumper, with so much power, to get over someone so big (Marouane Fellaini) to win a header.

“And he was then unfortunate at the weekend because he committed a foul but it should not have been a booking. We didn’t help him because we gave away the ball so cheaply.

“Stevie has been unfortunate picking up a few unnecessary bookings that were not through him. We are just going to have to tread carefully now. But it’s a role he can play and he will find a way of getting through, I’m sure.

“Will I rest him? No, because if he gets booked he will miss the two after that. He just has to be a wee bit more cautious but he is clever enough to get through that.”

Why could Liverpool be the 'neutrals' favourites for the title?

Gerrard has featured in the deep-lying position since returning from injury in January, when his absence wasn’t heavily felt due to Henderson’s improvement as he moved further up the pitch. The England international will be facing the club he left three years ago to move to Merseyside, and he stressed that the Liverpool squad must remain focused with the job at hand when they take on a Sunderland side scrapping for Premier League survival.

“We have just got to concentrate on ourselves,” said Henderson. “Sunderland will make it difficult coming to Anfield. They got beat on Saturday but they are fighting for their lives and will make it very difficult for us.

Rodgers: Liverpool are on the road to winning the title

“We have got to recover well from beating Cardiff and make sure we are back on it.  We have got eight cup finals left. It doesn’t matter who it is, we have got to treat everyone the same. We did that against Cardiff and our quality came through in the end.”

One Liverpool player currently plying his trade for the Black Cats is striker Fabio Borini, and having impressed on Wearside this season, Rodgers confirmed there is a future for him back with the reds, having joined in July 2012. The Italian is ineligible to face his parent club, meaning that Gus Poyet will have to picked from an out-of-form Jozy Altidore, Steven Fletcher – who is struggling with an ankle injury – and Connor Wickham, who was recalled form a loan spell at Leeds on Monday.

Read More: Rodgers happy to let fans 'dream'
Vertonghen claims only difference between Liverpool and Spurs is Suarez
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa, Ross Barkley, Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers, Alan Pardew and Christian Eriksen
footballRodgers is right to be looking over his shoulder, while something must be done about diving
News
i100
Life and Style
gaming
Arts and Entertainment
Carl Barat and Pete Dohrety in an image from the forthcoming Libertines short film
filmsPete Doherty and Carl Barat are busy working on songs for a third album
Arts and Entertainment
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible