Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson’s England fury over Steven Gerrard

Angry Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he is not concerned about England when it comes to the fitness of his captain Steven Gerrard.

Angry Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he is not concerned about England when it comes to the fitness of his captain Steven Gerrard.

The 30-year-old midfielder has been ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring tear sustained in Wednesday's friendly defeat to France at Wembley.

It leaves a huge hole in Liverpool’s midfield and Hodgson can only hope the side can “survive” in their captain's absence.

“My interest in Steven Gerrard is what he does for Liverpool,” said the Reds boss.

“I respect he is a top-class international player and is needed there as well but unfortunately I can't speak altruistically in this situation. There is no doubt we will miss him very much in the games to come. We would have had a much better chance of winning the game tomorrow (against West Ham) with him than without him.

“It is not just Liverpool, if you take one or two players out of any team it will be much less effective than it was.

“I am not whining or crying about it. But if you ask questions like ‘Can you cope without him?’, ‘Is it going to be okay?’, ‘Will everything be as good?’ I can only say no it won’t be. He is a goalscorer, a goal-maker and an inspirational leader and if you lose those three qualities in your team it is very hard to replace them.

“That doesn't mean to say I don't believe in the players who will take the field but the task is made harder by his absence.

“One hopes we will survive it, play well without him and other players will step up to the plate and do even more than they have been able to do so far.”

Gerrard's absence today could not have come at a worse time as recent performances have dipped, resulting in the end of a six-match unbeaten run at Stoke last Saturday.

“As Liverpool manager I am frustrated and disappointed to lose such an important player for such a long period of time,” added Hodgson.

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