Steven Gerrard: Liverpool youngsters must step-up
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard states the importance of the club's youngsters ahead of the 2013/14 season
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard feels it is time the club's youngsters take some responsibility and make a real impact in the side next season.
Manager Brendan Rodgers created a balance of youth and experience at Liverpool last campaign, and it seems unlikely that the manager will drop this approach any time soon.
He gave seven academy graduates a shot at first-team football, and Gerrard, an academy graduate himself, knows how important the youngsters are to the club.
However, he thinks it's time they take some responsibility as the older players begin to bow out.
"You only get described as a young lad for a certain amount of time and then it's time to become a man and perform on a consistent basis," he said speaking to The Sun.
"There is great talent at the club at a young age. The manager has been trying to get a young group of players together that can perform well for him.
"It's a big season for a lot of players - you look at Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson."
Sterling has proven to be a surprise for many to watch. The 18-year-old has scored just two league goals, but has been an impressive addition to the Liverpool squad.
He has his weaknesses, of course. He could be a little stronger in the air and could definitely work on holding the ball for longer.
But, his strengths certainly outweigh those weaknesses. The youngster loves to dribble through tough positions and enjoys playing quick, short passes.
Henderson on the other hand, has improved tremendously over the last season. His crossing and ability to hold the ball and make crucial passes have always been remarkable.
Moreover, the midfielder has clearly improved his technique and finishing, scoring five goals in the league.
"I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what happens with those young players," the captain admitted.
Gerrard also added that he believes the way the manager has brought the academy graduates into the first-team is essential to their development.
"The manager is fantastic with the way he does it. He invites a lot of young players down to train with the team all the time.
"It's a great experience to come down and play with the first team. When they come down permanently, they have sampled it and know what they're in for," the 33-year-old explained.
"I'm excited because if the young lads show the manager that they are good enough, he's certainly shown to everyone that he's not scared of playing them. It's going to be exciting."
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