Saturday 26 May 2018

We proved our steel at Hammers – Gerrard

Mamadou Sakho, Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel of Liverpool celebrate during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool
Mamadou Sakho, Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel of Liverpool celebrate during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool

Chris Bascombe

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool proved they have the steel to go with their skill after coping with an inhospitable trip to West Ham on Sunday.

Gerrard revealed how the London club "tried everything" to make life as uncomfortable as possible for the Merseyside club, including stopping the team coach parking in its usual spot near the stadium.

The Liverpool coach was unable to get close to Upton Park because of congestion, Gerrard suggesting the driver "had to park a mile away". The players were forced to walk and had to avoid swarms of fans.

The Liverpool captain also noted the unusually hot dressing-room and the dry pitch that was unsuited to Liverpool's passing game. Taken together, he said all such elements made the 2-1 victory even sweeter.

"It was a very tricky game. We got a bit more than we expected – a hot dressing-room, a dry pitch and the bus had to park a mile away," Gerrard insisted.

"I think they tried everything to upset us. It was a good test of our character. We needed to prove that we're capable of fighting for this title and we did that terrifically well.

"They were throwing 70-yard balls into our penalty box from every different angle. They have got giants in there who are going up with their elbows and we stood really strong.

"We defended superbly. It shows we have a bit of everything. We have class, some skill and we have some steel. We have lads who can roll their sleeves up and dig in. If you'd go back a couple of years you'd find a side that would have sulked and felt sorry for itself, not now."

Liverpool have two away games remaining at Norwich and Crystal Palace. Their next two Anfield fixtures are against title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

Gerrard said of this weekend's meeting with City: "It's going to be huge. People are already asking whether it's a title decider but for me that's nonsense.

"There's still a long way to go. It's another big game and it's three points we need if we want to win this league." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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