Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Gerrard a huge lift for Liverpool, says Benitez

Steven Gerrard

Rafael Benitez believes a fit-again Steven Gerrard can lead Liverpool out of the slump that has seen them lose three games in succession.

Liverpool face back-to-back Champions League clashes with the French league leaders over the next few weeks and victory is essential in both games.

The return of Gerrard from a groin injury, despite the fact Fernando Torres is still out with a similar injury, can be the boost Benitez believes his squad need.

He said: “With Steven around, it has an effect on the other players. He is an inspiration to them.

“Steven is a winner with the right mentality. But we have to see these players on the pitch, they cannot win games when they are injured.

“The team knows we are not playing at the right level, but they also know that we are good enough.

“They know we must start playing again at that level, their response in training has been positive and we must repeat that on the pitch. One good result will change everything.

“I am confident in my team, we are trying to improve and the response of the players this week has been very good and back to our best.

“We have gone from winning five on the trot to losing three in succession. We were scoring lots of goals and now we have not scored in three.

“But I do not believe there is much difference in all these games. We have played well, created chances and won praise for our attacking play.

“Hopefully we can start to win again, the atmosphere will be better and the mood will change as confidence improves.

“I hope that the Champions League will create a special atmosphere that will inspire the players, as it usually does in games like this at Anfield.”

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