Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has told his younger players that they must learn from club captain Steven Gerrard if they want to perform at the highest level.

Rodgers was unhappy with the younger players after Liverpool's shock FA Cup defeat to Oldham on Sunday, and he sent Gerrard on to try and inspire Liverpool to victory.

Gerrard, 32, almost did too, striking the crossbar which would have levelled the tie and left the game finely poised.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rodgers said: "Sunday hurt, very much so. But as the manager it gives you even greater motivation to push on. You learn things about players because if we're going to progress we need to make sure we have a group that's hungry in every game.

"It's where the admiration of the likes of a Steven Gerrard and the Jamie Carraghers of this world comes from. You look at Steven on Sunday - take away his quality, just his sheer enthusiasm for the game."

Rodgers was quick to praise the impact of his influential skipper, with Liverpool's performance improving significantly following Gerrard's introduction.

"He absolutely flipped the game on its head," said Rodgers. "It was fantastic but he does that every day of his life, and that's why he's a world-class player.

"Our young players, they won't have a greater role model to follow, and they're in pole position to learn, because they're seeing him every single day.

"If they're bright enough, they'll learn from him, and then hopefully they can be here for a long time."

Rodgers warned his young starlets that they must improve by learning from the likes of Gerrard if they are to remain with the Anfield giants.

He added: "They might find themselves playing in League One later on in their life, and they'll regret the opportunity they had of looking at a world-class player every day and learning."


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