Relieved Rafa hails the Gerrard effect

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was full of relief when speaking to the press today at the news that he will have skipper Steven Gerrard fit for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash at home to Lyon.

Gerrard missed the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday with a groin injury, but has passed fitness tests for tomorrow’s game at Anfield.

“With Steven around, it has an effect on the other players. He is an inspiration to them,” he said.

“Steven is a winner with the right mentality. But we have to see these players on the pitch, they cannot win games when they are injured.

“The team knows we are not playing at the right level, but they also know that we are good enough.

“They know we must start playing again at that level, their response in training has been positive and we must repeat that on the pitch. One good result will change everything.

“It is important to have Steven back, we have had some problems with injuries right from the start of the season so it is a big boost for us to have him back.”

However Benitez will be without striker Fernando Torres again who is still struggling with a knock picked up whilst on international duty for Spain last week.

Benitez added that the club have had bad luck with a succession of first team injury problems this season.

“Torres is not ready so we will have to wait a little bit longer but hopefully he will be okay for the weekend against Manchester United.

“The problems we have had this season have been too many to solve. We have had problems with our centre-backs, then there was Gerrard unfit and now we also have forwards out.”