Hodgson hails Gerrard

05 November 2010 07:38
Roy Hodgson was full of praise for Steven Gerrard after his performance last night. With the Reds 1-0 down at half-time, Gerrard came off the bench to hit a second half hat-trick and lead Liverpool to an eventually comfortable 3-1 win over Napoli. After the match Hodgson paid tribute to his captain. "He was outstanding. I think that in the first half we hadn't played that badly. I thought we were a bit unlucky to be a goal down at half-time to an error that was punished," said the boss. "But certainly in the second half his entry onto the field was a catalyst. It galvanised the crowd and the team. The way he scored the first goal epitomises the energy and spirit the team showed in the second half. "I'm delighted we got a reward for it but we do owe a big debt of gratitude to him. But I'm sure he'd be the first to join me in saying that it was a good team performance in the second half as well. "Even though he will get the plaudits, he'll agree that the whole team played well after the break and we deserved to win the game. "I thought tonight was a real leader's performance. That goal that got us the equaliser wasn't a pretty goal; it was a captain's goal, one of a guy who wanted to get his team back into a match and who was determined to get the ball into the net. That is certainly appreciated by me and my staff as well as the crowd."