Monday, 19 October 2009

Gerrard fit to play Lyon, but Torres is out

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been passed fit to play in tomorrow nights Champions League tie against Lyon after overcoming a thigh injury that had ruled him out of the Reds defeat to Sunderland on Saturday. However Striker Fernando Torres who is still suffering from an abductor problem, picked up on international duty with Spain in Armenia last week, will miss the game.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes his skippers inclusion will be a major boost to a team clearly struggling with confidence.

"With Steven around, it has an effect on the other players. He is an inspiration to them, said Benitez in the Independent.

"Steven is a winner with the right mentality. But we have to see these players on the pitch, they cannot win games when they are injured.

"The team knows we are not playing at the right level, but they also know that we are good enough.

"They know we must start playing again at that level, their response in training has been positive and we must repeat that on the pitch. One good result will change everything.

"I am confident in my team, we are trying to improve and the response of the players this week has been very good and back to our best.

"We have gone from winning five on the trot to losing three in succession. We were scoring lots of goals and now we have not scored in three.

"But I do not believe there is much difference in all these games. We have played well, created chances and won praise for our attacking play.

"We have not changed our tactics, it just shows how close teams are to each other. We lost to Chelsea but were in control for much of the game and then we lose when the ball hits a beach ball.

"We have virtually the same group of players as we had last season, and that ended up with us finishing second.

"Hopefully we can start to win again, the atmosphere will be better and the mood will change as confidence improves.

"We have Gerrard back now, and we have players who are fresher than they were after the international games. I hope that the Champions League will create a special atmosphere that will inspire the players, as it usually does in games like this at Anfield.

"In training this week I can see the team we were in the past. They are almost the same players as last season, we need confidence and some wins, there is no need to start worrying.

"I believe we are strong enough to compete just as we did last season. These players have the quality, they need to play one or two good games and everything will improve.

"It is not the end of the world, it is a bad position but we will come back and start fighting again."

"Torres is not ready, so we have to wait a little longer but hopefully he will be okay for the weekend against Manchester United.

"The problems we have had this season have been too many to solve. We have had problems with our centre-backs, then there was Gerrard unfit and now we also have forwards out.

"There have been too many things all at once. We have to wait for our injured players to return, then things will be a lot better.

"We need people fit, we need the end of the international breaks and then we can all work together to improve.

"First we must win against Lyon, that will get us back on the right road."

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