Steven Gerrard can go on for ‘a lot of years’ at Liverpool
Kenny Dalglish heaps praise on returning captain Steven Gerrard after he came off the bench to seal victory over Newcastle United
Kenny Dalglish claimed Steven Gerrard can continue to be a vital part of Liverpool’s squad for years after the Reds’ skipper came off the bench to secure a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Anfield.
Craig Bellamy had cancelled out a Daniel Agger own goal with a crisp finish after 29 minutes, and the Welshman then edged Dalglish’s men in front after the break when he fired home a free-kick.
Substitute Gerrard, who made his second appearance as a substitute since making his return from an ankle infection, then coolly slotted past Tim Krul from a tight angle to make the points safe in the 78th minute.
And Dalglish expects the 31-year-old midfielder to continue to be a source of inspiration for the Reds in years to come.
“He’s getting back to fitness which is a fantastic reward for him and everyone who has worked with him; to get him back to the level he’s at now. He’ll continue to work on his fitness,” said Dalglish.
“He’s always been a huge asset for the football club and he’s got a lot of years to go yet and we’ll look forward to that.
“He’s put the pressure on himself now, scoring a goal but it’s great to see him getting his reward. He’s worked really hard to get where he is. It was a freak injury really, so the boy deserves a bit of luck in 2012.”
The Liverpool boss also heaped praise on Bellamy for his two-goal haul. “It’s not the first time we’ve praised him [Bellamy] and it certainly won’t be the last,” he continued.
“He took the first one well because it was tight in the area and the second one was a free-kick. As he came off I just said congratulations to him.”
And Dalglish believes his side were deserving of the three points as they leapfrogged Arsenal into fifth place in the Premier League table.
“I thought it was a fully deserved victory,” he added. “We showed great courage, commitment and desire to get back into the game after losing a goal. We equalised, Martin [Skrtel] had a great clearance off the line and I think we deserved to win.
“It’s probably the game where we’ve created the least chances as well, but we’ve scored three goals. It’s funny how that happens.
“I’m not relieved, just satisfied that we got what we deserved. If we got what we deserved in every other [home] game and won the games drawn to have five more wins, I don’t think it would have been unreasonable.”