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Gerrard pleased with fighting spirit

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was pleased with the response to manager Brendan Rodgers’ half-time address in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

The visitors went behind after 31 minutes at Villa Park when a well-worked move was finished off by Christian Benteke, but Jordan Henderson and Gerrard scored second-half goals to turn the game on its head after the break.

The England midfielder felt Liverpool were unfortunate to be trailing at half-time and believes Rodgers’ advice put them on the right track to bagging an equaliser soon after the restart.

When asked what the manager told his team at half-time, Gerrard told Sky Sports: “Keep doing what you’re doing, play with more belief and take a few more risks in their final third and it came off today.

“After the manager spoke, that’s what you need to do, go out and score straight after half-time and that gave us the belief and confidence to go on and win the game.

“We had to show a lot of character and raise it a little bit after half-time but we felt a bit hard done by to be behind at the break.

“We thought we should have been at least level but found ourselves one down so we had to give an extra 10 percent.”

Gerrard made a vital goal-line clearance to deny Benteke a second goal and said that incident was just as important in sealing victory as dispatching the penalty won by Luis Suarez.

“One of my close friends before the game gave me stick about my hair and said I might score the winner with my head today,” he said.

“The penalty was the winner but I think the headed clearance won us the game so he was right in the end. That’s what the celebration was about.”

The Reds now sit three points behind their Merseyside rivals Everton in the race to secure European football and Gerrard hopes his team-mates can mount a late push.

When asked about his targets for the rest of the campaign, he replied: “Just to win every game, finish as high as we can and maybe nick fifth or sixth. That’s what we’ll try and do.”

Sun 31 March, 2013
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