Benitez hails winner Gerrard

24 August 2008 10:23
Rafael Benitez believes the winning mentality of Steven Gerrard can help inspire Liverpool to mount a serious title challenge this season. The Reds skipper crashed home a dramatic stoppage time winner in Saturday's 2-1 success over Middlesbrough at Anfield. Jamie Carragher's deflected effort had cancelled out Mido's opener for the visitors, but Liverpool were far from their fluent best for the second week running, following last weekend's laboured opening day win at Sunderland. But after taking the game by the scruff of the neck, Reds boss Benitez was full of praise for his talismanic captain. "It was Gerrard who showed the winning mentality, he has done that so many times from a similar position," enthused Benitez. "Many other players would have put it high over the bar, but you know Gerrard will hit the target. "Last season we drew far too many games at Anfield, but this time we have sent out a message that in such situations we can win the game. We have winners here. "I was very pleased with the first 15 minutes or so, we created a lot of chances and could have scored a couple. "But after that we did not play well, and we allowed them to control our attacks. They did not create too much themselves, but it was not a good performance from our team."

Source: ESA