Reds can reap Gerrard rewards

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Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish believes the decision not to recall Steven Gerrard into the England squad will benefit all parties.

Reports over the weekend suggested Fabio Capello might turn to the Reds' captain despite a recent return from a groin injury, forcing Gerrard to admit he wasn't ready to play for the Three Lions and below 100%.

After three substitute appearances, the player's rehabilitation appears to be on track ahead of the clash with Manchester United next weekend, and Gerrard will benefit from the extra time off after being omitted from the national team.

"I think it's beneficial for everybody that Stevie hasn't been called up by England. He's got back to where he is right now because of the people that have been working with him. He's said himself that he has great faith in those people," Dalglish told the official Liverpool website.

"I don't think it would have been helpful for Stevie - or Liverpool or England - if he had gone away for the game against Montenegro. I think it's a sensible decision for all concerned.

"These few weeks also give some of the lads who are returning from injury - Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson - more time to get back. Time is a great healer so hopefully the lads will benefit from the break."

'King Kenny' also took time to reflect on the Merseyside derby win against Everton, with the Reds keeping their first clean sheet since August at Goodison Park.


Special praise was reserved for vice-captain Jamie Carragher, who proved his critics wrong with an imperious display against Toffees frontman Louis Saha.

"It was good to keep a clean sheet. We haven't had one for a few weeks. We've been unlucky not to get more because some of the goals we've conceded have been right at the end of games," the manager continued.

"Whenever you do keep a clean sheet it obviously gives you a great chance of getting something. If you do stop the other team scoring it's good for everybody, the defenders in particular.

"I thought all the lads at the back dealt with everything. Carra was superb again."

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