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Jan 25, 2013

Gerrard hails character of Liverpool boss

Steven Gerrard has praised Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for having the "bottle and character" to take on the Anfield job.

Rodgers joined the Merseysiders in the summer after guiding Swansea City first to the Premier League and then to 11th place in the table, winning plaudits for the style of football his team played.

He was appointed at Anfield as successor to Kenny Dalglish, who was sacked after a season that saw Liverpool win the Carling Cup but finish eighth in the league.

And Reds captain Gerrard, 32, who scored as his side continued their recent good form with a 5-0 home win over Norwich last weekend, said: "Our fans demand that we are successful and that we win.

"If you are looking for a young manager out there who has everything going for him, who can help us achieve that success, I think you pick Brendan Rodgers.

"He gave up a top job in a comfortable situation at Swansea, where he'd done fantastically well, and had the bottle and the character to come and take this big job on.

Gerrard said experienced players such as himself and Jamie Carragher could help shoulder the burden of expectation, adding that he had no regrets about staying loyal to his boyhood club.

He had been close to joining Chelsea in a £20 million move in 2005, but opted to stay at Anfield.

"It is the club I have supported since I was a boy, and I'm in such a privileged position to captain the team,'' he said. said the 32-year-old.

"It [a Chelsea move] was very close, but I have no regrets and am absolutely delighted I stayed loyal to Liverpool."

He thanked Liverpool for their loyalty to him, saying the club "have always supported me, on and off the pitch".

But it remains unclear whether Gerrard will be joined in the Liverpool midfield by Inter Milan's Philippe Coutinho.

Rodgers has tabled an £8 million offer for the Brazilian, who is reportedly keen to move to Merseyside, but Southampton are also interested and could make a higher bid.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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