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Enrique: Gerrard a quality player

11 Nov 2013 09:31:58

Enrique: Gerrard a quality player

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes captain Steven Gerrard's role may have altered from the days of his barnstorming best but his quality still endures.

The 33-year-old England skipper had a hand in all four of the goals against Fulham at Anfield, two of which came directly from his set-piece deliveries.

And while he does not get forward as much as he used to, he still has the vision and passing range to hurt sides who give him time on the ball.

"Gerrard has been playing fantastic as always, our captain is really important for us," said Enrique.

"When you get older you lose something physically; when he was playing with (Fernando) Torres for example he was playing behind the striker and now he is deeper on the ball.

"He is playing with Lucas (Leiva) in a role he did not play when he was younger but the quality of the passes, crosses and free-kicks he is still doing the same thing. His quality is amazing."

Gerrard's fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson also impressed against the Cottagers, threading a brilliant through-ball for the first of Luis Suarez's two goals.

The 22-year-old has earned himself an England recall on the back of a number of good performances this season.

"Jordan is a hard worker and has been doing really well in training and now he is getting the results," added the Spaniard.

"He is working hard and that is why he is playing. Like everyone when you arrive here - even me - you improve as a player.

"If you don't improve in a few years it is a problem because when you play with these type of players you should improve every year, even if you don't want to.

"He is still young, you can't forget that, he is 22 and he is playing fantastically.

"He had the assist for Luis and I think he is doing really well and I hope he stays like this because it will be good for the team."

Enrique made his first appearance since October 5 after being forced to rest a knee problem which restricted his training programme, coming on as a second-half substitute for Aly Cissokho.

"I still feel a bit stiff. It's been quite a long time away and I'm still not feeling 100 per cent, but we have a break again and hopefully now I can carry on as Christmas is going to be very busy and I can be available," the former Newcastle defender said.

"I got a kick and had some bruising on the bone which gave me a lot of pain.

"When I trained for a couple of days it got tight around my knee and I couldn't train.

"The month I was playing after that I was training only once a week because I couldn't train any more, so it has been difficult for me because, of course, you lose your fitness.

"When he (manager Brendan Rodgers) had more players available - because Cissokho was injured also - we decided to stop and rest my knee and hopefully it won't give me any more problems."


PA

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