Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his players have to step up in the absence of captain Steven Gerrard after a frustrating goalless draw at home to Sunderland.
With a must-win match at home to Basle in the Champions League on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Old Trafford, the 34-year-old midfielder was left on the bench until 23 minutes from the end.
He could not inspire his side to victory but Rodgers admits it should not always be up to him.
“We can’t always rely on Stevie. His talent is world-class but that contribution has to come around the team,” he said. “It can’t be up to him every single game to be the catalyst.
“It is very hard to replace that quality but going forward that is something of course we will need. “He was excellent when he came on and of course he plays on Tuesday.
“He still has that talent, he has world-class ability and it is me looking to manage that.
“We have a big month. Until the new year there are big games and the management of Steven is fine, there is no problem with that.”
Only Aston Villa and Burnley have scored fewer goals at home than Liverpool’s seven and Rodgers’ decision to leave Fabio Borini out of the squad – meaning he had no striker on the bench – was questioned.
The Italian enjoyed a good loan spell at Sunderland last season and almost joined them in the summer after Liverpool agreed a deal to sell him.
“That is a decision I make as a manager,” said Rodgers when asked about the forward’s absence.
Black Cats manager Gus Poyet admits he would leap at the chance to take Borini back to the Stadium of Light.
“I would love to,” he said before attempting to address the collapse of the transfer.
“It is difficult to explain. It was a long summer and the things everyone knows, we agreed a price and we flew to America (for Liverpool’s pre-season tour) and he didn’t come.
“The bottom line is he is not with us. I am trying to concentrate on what we have got.”
What they had was good enough to keep their hosts at bay, having been beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in midweek.
“First half we were much better with the ball than in the last three or four games,” Poyet added.
“We are just missing that cutting edge but in the rest of the game we were quite good.”