Gerrard hails Rodgers' bottle
Published 25/01/2013 | 09:40
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes manager Brendan Rodgers fits the bill for what most clubs would pick if they were looking for a new boss.
After a shaky start to his career at Anfield having taken over from Kenny Dalglish, Rodgers' new way of working has started to show signs it is clicking into gear. He has been fully-backed by the players during the transition and Gerrard believes the Northern Irishman, who turns 40 on Saturday, represents the new breed of manager.
"Our fans demand that we are successful and that we win and if you are looking for a young manager out there who has everything going for him who can help us achieve that success I think you pick Brendan Rodgers," he said.
"He gave up a top job in a comfortable situation at Swansea, where he'd done fantastically well, and had the bottle and the character to come and take this big job on. Now the responsibility and the pressure is shared with the likes of myself and Jamie (Carragher) because it is a tough club as well with the demands and expectations on a daily basis."
Liverpool has been Gerrard's club since he was eight years old and although many have lauded his loyalty - which wavered only briefly when he was tempted by a move to Chelsea - he believes some recognition is deserved in the other direction.
"It is the club I have supported since I was a boy and I'm in such a privileged position to captain the team," said the 32-year-old. "It (a move to Chelsea) was very close but I have no regrets and am absolutely delighted I stayed loyal to Liverpool.
"A lot of people talk about my loyalty to Liverpool but what rarely gets mentioned is Liverpool's loyalty to me. I've been there since I was eight and the contracts kept coming, the love kept coming, they have always supported me on and off the pitch.
"A football career is like a roller coaster, it is up and down and you learn from your mistakes on and off the pitch. But no matter what I have done I've always had fantastic people around me at the club. I think Liverpool deserve a big thank you from myself for the loyalty they have shown to me."
Liverpool's pursuit of Inter Milan's Philippe Coutinho rests on whether the Italian side are prepared to accept what amounts to a final offer for the midfielder.
The Reds have made a bid approaching £8million for the Brazil international, who is keen on a move to Anfield despite previous comments suggesting he was happy in Italy. Rodgers has no inclination to pay above his valuation for the 20-year-old and will not be persuaded otherwise despite reports Southampton are interested.