Liverpool boss backs distraught star to shine at World Cup

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he has no worries surrounding Steven Gerrard’s mental state heading into the World Cup this summer.

The Reds skipper’s unfortunate slip to allow Demba Ba to score for Chelsea in a home defeat to Chelsea has largely been portrayed as the defining moment of the title race last season, with the momentum after the game having swung in favour of eventual champions Manchester City.

Gerrard was left visually distraught on the pitch after the incident, which looks cost him his best ever shot at league honours at the age of 33.

Some have since expressed concerns as to whether the midfield general will be able to bounce back from the bitter blow and captain England effectively at the World Cup.

But Rodgers says that Gerrard’s mistake was not the pivotal moment for the club last term and that he expects his skipper to perform well in Brazil:

“I have no concerns whatsoever, I think Steven will go away and reflect on what has been personally a brilliant season of football.” He is quoted by The Metro.

“He has been very unfairly pointed out in terms of his slip. That wasn’t what cost us the league. It was more games when we won. When we won 5-3 at Stoke when we conceded, when we won 6-3 at Cardiff, when we won 4-3 at home against Swansea, another three conceded.

“He is a very conscientious boy, he loves Liverpool and he is very hard on himself. Steven is his own worst critic but he will go away recognising that he has been involved in a real title run-in and next season he will be better for it and we will be a better squad for it.

“We will be ready to fight again and he will play a pivotal part in it. He will take that confidence into the World Cup.”