LONDON: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hailed the performance of youngster Raheem Sterling in their 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Stadium of Light this morning, adding the winger has a bright future in the game.
The 17-year-old provided the assist for Luis Suarez’s equalizer for the Reds as he skipped past Danny Rose before crossing for the Uruguayan to fire past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Gerrard believes Sterling has a lot of talent but feels he will need guidance from the senior players at the club as he adjusts to life in the Premier League.
“I think that’s why everyone is talking about him because he’s burst onto the scene and he’s got the fans on the edge of their seats," Gerrard told ESPN.
“He’s still a young boy and he’s still got a lot to learn. We can help him to develop and improve and become even better. He’s got a bright future and I’m glad he’s a Liverpool player.”
Gerrard believes the team are close to clicking under manager Brendan Rodgers, who are yet to register a league win under their new boss since his arrival in July.
He insisted that Liverpool were the dominant force throughout this morning - with their showings on the pitch not being reflected in their current lowly standing in the table.
“I think it can be different it all depends how quickly the players take the message that the manager’s trying to put across on board," said Gerrard..
“You’ve seen our performance today I think that’s a message it won’t be very long for us, we know the first win is around the corner and let’s hope that’s against Manchester United next week.
“We knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight we were very disappointed with our performance against Arsenal we tried hard but it just didn’t happen.
“Today we tried hard and even though we were one down at half-time I thought for the 90 minutes we completely controlled this game their goal was against the run of play.
"I think anyone watching that game would say Liverpool should have won the three points.”
Following the release of the Hillsborough report which exonerated Liverpool fans of any wrongdoing in the disaster 23 years ago, Gerrard felt it would have been good to mark the occasion with a win but believes the supporters will be pleased with the commitment shown by the players
“Of course every time you put the Liverpool shirt on it’s always important to give everything you’ve got I think we showed that today but it would have been really nice to take the three points home today and dedicate it to the supporters.
“But I think every fan who watched that game today will have been proud of the effort that the lads gave.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers defended Suarez after the striker was deemed to have dived to win a freekick during the match.
Suarez was adjudged to have dived following a John O’Shea tackle and entered the referee’s book for the incident, but replays have since shown that contact on the Reds striker was made. "I have not seen that (replays)," said Rodgers. "The only side I know is he is a real good guy, a wonderful football player and a very good man.
"He comes in and works very hard. I have not seen anything bad. His finish was outstanding. He always causes problems, he's had to play in a couple of positions, but I though overall he was outstanding."
Liverpool found themselves a goal down following an impressive Steven Fletcher strike, but Rodgers is pleased with his club’s strong response from conceding.
"We are disappointed with the goal, we dominated the first half and then conceded the first goal against the run of play.
"But our reaction, we upped the tempo; the speed of passing and movement was much better and our aggression was much better. It was the least we deserved.
“We will take a point, although we are disappointed not to take all three. It bodes well for us going forward."