Steven Gerrard believes the emotional strain with intensify as the Reds close in on their first league title in 24 years, after dedicating Sunday’s 3-2 win over Manchester City to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, reports the Telegraph.

The Reds captain was reduced to tears at the final whistle of Sunday’s crucial 3-2 win over Manchester City, a result that left Liverpool top of the table and in need of four more wins to secure a first Premier League title.

Gerrard says his emotional reaction at the final whistle was intensified as the occasion was just two days before the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

The annual service to honour the victims is being held at Anfield today, and beforehand Gerrard took time to dedicate their fantastic victory to the 96 and their friends and families.

“The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell,” Gerrard said.

“It wasn’t just because it was a big match in our season, it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool. It’s emotional for so many people.

“I’m speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough. All the squad will be present at the service to pay our respects as we should. I think it was just a release at the end. It is a tough week, preparing for these matches.

“There are long days going into them. Everyone knows personally how much I want it. I’ve just got to stay calm and relax. I’m trying to do that but it’s difficult to control my emotions.

“I’m just trying to do different things. In my spare time, I’m not sitting around thinking about it. I’m watching the TV, spending time with my kids and my friends to take my mind off it.

“I want the games to come every day, not every week. I’d love to play the remaining four games in the next four days but it is not possible. I have to manage the time well and make sure that I’m not getting anxious and wasting unnecessary energy.”

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