Steven Gerrard cannot carry Liverpool - Brendan Rodgers

 

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has called on his players to ease the burden on Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool captain, 32, has scored just one Premier League goal this season as the Reds dropped to 12th after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Spurs.

"He's carried this club for nearly 13 years and it's about time there was more than Steven picking up the baton of responsibility," said Rodgers.

"There are others that we want to step up to the plate and get the goals."

Gerrard's Liverpool love affair

  • Spotted playing for Whiston Juniors aged nine
  • Signed professional papers for Liverpool in 1997
  • Made his debut as a second-half substitute against Blackburn Rovers on 29 November 1998
  • In 2001 wins League, FA and Uefa Cup treble
  • October 2003 replaced Sami Hyypia as Liverpool captain
  • Scores to help Liverpool lift the 2005 Champions League trophy
  • Scores twice in 2006 FA Cup final victory over West Ham
  • October 2008, scores his 100th club goal against PSV Eindhoven
  • Signs contract extension in 2012 to keep him at the club with future ambassador's role

England skipper Gerrard has been the Reds' talisman in recent years, scoring a number of vital goals from midfield for his hometown club.

But he is yet to find the target on a regular basis this term, with his only goal in 14 top-flight appearances coming in the 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United.

Rodgers's side have relied heavily on Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who has netted 10 of their 18 league goals, but the Northern Irish boss has backed Gerrard to rediscover his goalscoring touch.

"Steven been brilliant since I arrived here. His inspiration and leadership within the team has been phenomenal," he said.

"He might not have got the goals that he wanted this season, but his range of passing, commitment and drive into the box against Tottenham was superb.

"He has been judged on his goals because he's been a goalscoring midfielder over the years, but he's still offering this group so much on and off the field."

Rodgers admits he is trying to find "different solutions" to improve Liverpool's performances this season.

He has received criticism for playing winger Stewart Downing at left-back against Tottenham, with natural defender Jose Enrique in left-midfield.

"We are just trying to find, because of the shallowness of the group, different solutions which allow us to attack and defend well," said Rodgers.

Rodgers will be given more options for Saturday's visit of Southampton after Brazilian midfielder Lucas was cleared to return from a thigh injury sustained in August.

"Lucas Leiva will return to the squad, which is great news because he's been working very, very hard and played the reserve game last week," Rodgers told the club website. 

"It's a big boost because he's well in tune with what we're trying to do here."