Rafa firm on Gerrard role
Rafa Benitez has warned Steven Gerrard not to get too comfortable in his favoured central midfield role.
Last Updated: 31/03/10 1:34pm
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has warned Steven Gerrard not to get too comfortable in his favoured central midfield role.
Gerrard reverted back to the middle of the park against Sunderland last weekend and responded with an improved personal display in the 3-0 win.
For a long time critics have been calling on Benitez to deploy Gerrard in what they feel is his best position but the Reds boss insists the team come first.
"I said after the game in the press conference he has been playing on the right, or left," said Benitez.
"I remember discussions with England about Gerrard and Frank Lampard not being able to play in the middle but they can.
"He can play everywhere because he knows what to do in every position.
"He was keen to do the best for the team and the best for the team the other day was for him to play in this role with Javier Mascherano.
"For me it is not the player and the system but altogether.
"In the last year with the same system we were quite offensive and this year we have scored a lot of goals, especially at Anfield, with the same system.
"It has been Lucas-Mascherano, Lucas-Aquilani, Lucas-Gerrard, Mascherano-Aquilani - we can mix and match. It gives us more options."
Benitez also confirmed the club are still waiting for winger Albert Riera to finalise a proposed loan move to Spartak Moscow after reports emerged that the deal had stalled because of a failure to agree personal terms.
"He is still talking. He is talking with Spartak," added Benitez.
"He is training sometimes but now we have to wait and now we have games in the week we have to keep the players who are normally involved."
Meanwhile, young defender Martin Kelly is awaiting a doctor's decision to learn whether he will require a knee operation.
The youngster tore the meniscus in training at the weekend and is likely to be out for the rest of the season.