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Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot at Old Trafford. Picture credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot at Old Trafford. Picture credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot at Old Trafford. Picture credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

LIVERPOOL captain Steven Gerrard has called on owners Fenway Sports Group not to waste any time in giving manager Brendan Rodgers a new contract.

The Reds boss has just over a year left on his current agreement, although there is an option for a 12-month extension. Such has been the progress this year it seems inevitable the Northern Irishman will be rewarded with a longer, more lucrative deal.

Sunday's 3-0 demolition of arch-rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford was just another indicator of the strides being made.

That the club find themselves in a title race less than two years after Rodgers took over with the Reds in eighth is a remarkable feat and while the manager himself is remaining cool on their bid for the championship and his new contract, Gerrard is in no doubt.

"He has been a revelation. He keeps tinkering and tweaking formations, making little changes to personnel and pulls it off," said the England captain.

"He is a young coach who has earned the right to become Liverpool manager and from week to week he is improving and he has been an absolute breath of fresh air to this club.

"I am learning off him every day. He has been fantastic for myself and I am sure the (other) players will echo what I am saying.

"We are absolutely delighted he is here and I just hope there is a lot of movement in Boston (the home of principal owner John W Henry) now as we speak because they have got to get him signed up as soon as possible.

"When players are in this situation with a year to go you want to keep hold of them so desperately, the club react really quickly and get it sorted, and for me I think he deserves a very long contract here and I think he is perfect for this club."

Rodgers faced a testing six months when he took over from club icon Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 2012 but since January last year the club have been on an upward curve which shows no signs of slowing.

Gerrard thinks the belief he has given the squad has been key.

"He manages every single player. He knows we have different characters in the dressing room," added the 33-year-old.

"His one-on-one management is the best I have known. He makes you go out on to the pitch feeling a million dollars, full of confidence and belief. When you play for Liverpool you have to accept pressure, take it on the chin and perform, but when you have a manager who is making you feel good and who is not scared of giving you a good one-to-one telling off as well he has the perfect ingredients."

Meanwhile, midfielder Jordan Henderson insists the team must not dwell on beating old rivals United and instead focus solely on maintaining their winning run.

The Reds head to second-bottom Cardiff at the weekend looking to extend their winning streak and maintain the pressure on leaders Chelsea, who are four points ahead having played one match more.

Henderson said they have to put the euphoria of their first success at Old Trafford since 2009 – and only their 16th league win on the ground in 118 years – behind them and focus on what immediately lies ahead.

"It was a big win, but it was just another game for us really," said the England international.

"We went there trying to do the same thing, put on a good performance, get three points and thankfully we did that, so we can move on to the next performance and hopefully win that.

"We knew it was a massive game, but we have been brilliant of late and we felt as though we were capable of doing what we have been doing all season and have a really good chance of winning the game.

"We dominated from start to finish and I am very pleased in that respect, but we just move on to this week against Cardiff, that will be a difficult task as we are away from home, so we need to prepare well for that."

While Rodgers is reluctant to talk about their title chances, the players are not so reticent, with Gerrard insisting the Reds are genuine contenders.

Further afield, there appears to be no doubt the Reds are in the hunt, but Henderson is happy for others to talk up their chances.

"I am sure they will, but we have just got to keep focused on what we are trying to do as a team and take each game as it comes and not get too carried away," he said.

"That will start again next week against Cardiff and we will see where we are at the end of the season."

WORRIED

Defender Jon Flanagan believes their title rivals cannot fail to be concerned by the Reds' challenge as they go in search of a first championship since 1990.

"I think they are going to be worried," said Flanagan. "We put a marker down (at Old Trafford). I think we are ready to push on and keep going.

"We all believe, but our priority was to finish in the top four at the start of the season. We are on track for that and anything else is a bonus.

"It's always good when you see other teams around us losing. We saw the Chelsea result (losing at Aston Villa on Saturday), but we just concentrate on ourselves. We are just taking it a game at a time and keeping our feet on the ground."


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