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Carlisle wary of Gerrard quality

11 Sep 2009 13:13:31

Carlisle wary of Gerrard quality

Carlisle admits it was a strange experience watching Gerrard's blockbuster performance for England on Wednesday night in the knowledge he would be playing against him this weekend. The Clarets travel to Liverpool on Saturday in the Premier League knowing that if they are to emerge from the fixture with anything, they will have to contain Gerrard, whose two goals helped England to the emphatic 5-1 win over Croatia which sealed their qualification for next year's World Cup finals. Fabio Capello's team put on quite a show for the Wembley crowd and the wider television audience, but there was at least one England fan watching on with a degree of trepidation. Carlisle is now faced with the task of succeeding where the Croatians failed in stopping the Reds captain and, like the rest of his newly-promoted team-mates, the centre-back has very quickly had to get used to preparing himself for playing against the game's biggest stars on a weekly basis. But Burnley have already acquitted themselves well against some glitzy opposition this season, and Carlisle believes that if the team pull together once again, they will have nothing to fear on the grand stage of Anfield. "It's different to in the past, because now you are looking at the game and how these players perform with a view to playing against them in a couple of weeks' time," Carlisle said. "One or two seasons ago I was just idolising them and it is so different watching television and seeing how teams play with a view to combating that when you come up against them. "We are very aware of what Liverpool possess, but it's down to us, and if we do what we can do, it will be a very good game. "We will be defending as a team I sincerely hope because we (defenders) will probably need some help against Gerrard and the likes of Fernando Torres. "From what I saw on Wednesday night, Gerrard played out on the left and was coming in at the back post scoring his headers. I don't think that will be his role for Liverpool, but you just can't deny the man's quality no matter where he is on the pitch. "He's a goal threat, he's such a creative talent and he'll cause problems for us. So we'll be very aware of what Gerrard can do and that he will be buoyant after his couple of goals on Wednesday, but our focus has got to be on what we can do. "We can cause Liverpool problems going forward, but we have to make sure that we defend resolutely when we have to." There will be no time for Burnley's players to get starry-eyed on Saturday, but Carlisle admitted that the prospect of playing at Anfield was an exciting one. "It's something that gives you a spring in your step and builds your confidence, but you have to remain level-headed about it," he said. "It is just another game, but it's also a privilege to be involved in it." Burnley go into the match in good spirits themselves after surprising many people by securing six points from a tricky opening sequence of games. The mood at the club is glowing and Carlisle believes it is all down to manager Owen Coyle and the attitude he conveys to his players. "It is a very happy camp and that just reflects well on the manager," Carlisle said. "His positivity around the place and the way that he manages individuals is fantastic. He instils belief, confidence and happiness in you. "It's a privilege to do the job that we do and we are so blessed to come here and play the sport that we love and get paid for it. "Frowns are not allowed at the training ground, or in and around the ground, no matter what this Burnley weather throws at you!"


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