Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised his younger players for filling the void left by injured captain Steven Gerrard.
Midfielder and club stalwart Gerrard has been sidelined since March 20 with a groin injury and will not play again this season.
But Dalglish has been able to call upon the likes of Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Jay Spearing to compensate for the absence of senior players during the campaign.
“Any team in the world would be a better team with Steven Gerrard playing in midfield and we are no different,” Dalglish said.
“But, as I have said before, you sympathise with the players when they are injured.”
“You feel for them because none of them ever want to be injured but when they are injured somebody else steps up to the plate and it is to their credit that they have all stepped up to the plate.”
Dalglish singled out the late comeback away to title contenders Arsenal last week as an example of his team’s resilience.
Already without Gerrard, Liverpool lost stand-in skipper Jamie Carragher and centre-forward Andy Carroll to injury in the second half, but a Dirk Kuyt penalty deep into injury time snatched a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
“I think they have done fantastically well in adversity when you consider what happened on Sunday against Arsenal,” Dalglish said of his players.
“We started without our captain, we lose our captain, we lose Andy (Carroll) up front, you lose Fabio (Aurelio) and you have 17 and 18-year-olds at right and left back against an England international, a French international and a Russian international player – it didn’t faze them.”
“They got on with it and just accepted their lot.”
“This is the team I have got. They go out and they make the club proud and that is all we can ask – that they go and give everything they have got and get on with it. They have done that.”
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