Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that Steven Gerrard is not an automatic choice to return to the starting eleven after the club captain has reportedly recovered from injury. Gerrard had earlier missed Liverpool’s previous seven matches with a hamstring injury but the player fit for Monday night’s trip to Wales as the Reds take on Swansea City.
The Anfield side have lost just one of those which Gerrard have missed and Rodgers has insisted that his team’s performance must come first and there will be no sentimentality attached to his selections.
Rodgers said, “I am respectful and this guy is one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League and arguably the greatest player of this club. But what I do know is that Stevie always puts the team first. I have huge respect for him whether he is playing or not playing and huge admiration for him as a player and person.”
“But I am not one that makes emotional decisions on whether I like someone or not. For me it is about picking and finding the right balance in the team and what makes the team function to ultimately win. He still has big qualities that we will need between now and the end of the season.”
With both Arsenal and Manchester United winning in the weekend, Liverpool can’t afford to drop points against Swansea in their push for a Champions League berth for next season. Midfielder Lucas Leiva is also fit again but is highly unlikely that the Brazilian will be rushed for the clash.