Gerrard jumps to defence of Torres

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has given his full backing to striker Fernando Torres and manager Roy Hodgson after both came in for early-season criticism.

Torres has scored just once while Hodgson, who took over from predecessor Rafael Benitez on July 1, has overseen one Barclays Premier League victory which has contributed to the side slumping to 18th in the table.

But Gerrard, who has been one of the few Liverpool players to rise above mediocrity in the current campaign, told LFC Weekly: "It's all completely over the top. "

He added: "It's easy to watch a football match and if the centre-forward doesn't score or pull a rabbit out of a hat, say his body language isn't right. If a player's form isn't there or he's fighting for full fitness after injuries it's normal that their body language isn't perfect.

"If I'm not playing at the levels I know I can, or if I'm struggling with an injury, people say the same things about me.

"The only time a centre-forward's body language is 100 per cent right is when they're scoring in every game, that's the way they are.

"That's why players like that are the best in the world, because if they come off the pitch without scoring or producing a nine out of 10 or 10 out of 10 performance they're not happy.

"You only have to look at Fernando's record since he walked through the door to know how good he is but he's had a bad time with injuries of late. He wasn't 100% going into the World Cup and he had a lot of criticism over the summer but he'll bounce back."

Gerrard also said the poor performances this season could not just be pinned on Hodgson, who has had to cope with a number of squad changes and the on-going ownership issues.

"It's unfair for people to just blame the manager for the bad start to the season," he continued. "We're all in this together, everyone at the club, from top to bottom. We've all got to accept responsibility and pull together if we are to turn things around."

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