Rafa backs below-par Gerrard

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is confident that captain Steven Gerrard will soon return to top form, having struggled in recent games for the Reds.

The 29-year-old England midfielder has scored just once in his last 13 games, while the Merseysiders have dropped to eighth place in the Premier League and been knocked out of the Champions League.

Benitez told reporters:"Steven knows that he has to improve, but that for me is very positive.

"He knows he is a very important player for us and we were analysing his statistics and he is doing much better.

"In the last game he wasn't at his level, but that can happen in one game. He knows he is improving physically and the main thing now is confidence.

"I was talking with him this week about how to improve. He wants to give more.

"I am 100 per cent that he wants to give more. He is the captain and he is very important for the team and the club. He is someone who is pushing now and wants to improve."

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