Liverpool skipper backtracks on Everton criticism

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Football News

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has backtracked on the comments he made earlier this week about the negative playing style imposed by Everton, in the aftermath of Sunday's 2-2 Merseyside derby draw at Goodison Park.

The Reds midfielder claimed the Toffees have a direct and physical approach that is comparable to the likes of Stoke City - a statement that prompted a quick response from Phil Jagielka, who hit back at the jibe - causing the 32-year-old to reconsider his opinion.

"Just to clarify I've watched the game again, and I've seen some of Everton's matches this season, and what I said in relation to their style of play went too far," he told The Liverpool Echo.

"I was frustrated by the disallowed goal from Luis [Suarez] when I spoke and also some of the things (diving allegations) that have been said about Luis in recent weeks which haven't been fair in my opinion.

"As captain I have a duty to stand up for our players when I feel they are unfairly singled out. But it wasn't my intention to disrespect Everton or Stoke for that matter and I certainly didn't intend any disrespect to their manager or players."

Emotions were certainly running high in the aftermath of the match, with Gerrard interviewed just minutes after the final whistle, when Suarez had what would have been a winning goal wrongly chalked off for offside.

Liverpool have made an indifferent start to the 2012/13 campaign, and currently lie 12th in the Premier League table, with just ten points from their opening nine games. And, the club's slow progress might be a reason for the release of Gerrard's frustration.

"I have the utmost respect for David Moyes and Tony Pulis and the job they have done at their respective clubs," he continued.

"My main issue was with the goal that wasn't given and that Liverpool did not get the three points I felt we deserved in what was a fantastic derby match."

Liverpool return to action tonight with a last-16 League Cup clash against Swansea at Anfield - a game that will see manager Brendan Rodgers and midfielder Joe Allen face their former club for the first time since swapping South Wales for Merseyside in the summer.

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