Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers explains Steven Gerrard absence

Brendan Rodgers explains his decision to leave Steven Gerrard on the bench against Stoke

Brendan Rodgers insists that he chose to start Steven Gerrard on the bench for Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Stoke City purely so the midfielder could have a rest.

The Reds captain was introduced as a 75th-minute substitute at Anfield after being left out of the starting line-up on the 16th anniversary of his Reds debut.

And speaking after the win, Rodgers admitted that he was unaware of the landmark as he explained his decision.

“Steven is at the part of his career where he’s not going to be playing in every game and every minute of every game,” said Rodgers.

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“He’s played against Crystal Palace and in Ludogorets, where he was outstanding and put a huge amount of effort into the game.

“We’ve got other players who can come in and do the job, and Steven understands that.

“I wasn’t actually aware it was 16 years until I walked into the changing rooms and saw the programme, but with Steven you wouldn’t know whether he was playing or not because he’s a guy who is very much a team player. He’s a great guy and he always plays a part in our work.

“I need to look at each game and position the players and team that I think can get the result.

“We’ve got good players on the sidelines who are fresh. Steven came on and gave a great contribution towards the end. His experience and stature in the game helped us at that point, but I the team overall was excellent.”

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