Mar 30, 2011

Gerrard close to Liverpool return

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes to be fit to return to action against West Brom on Saturday after being out since the start of March.

Gerrard has missed three games since undergoing surgery on a groin injuury sustained in the 3-1 win over Manchester United on 6 March. "I'm hoping to be in full training on Thursday and available for selection for the weekend," he said.

"It's up to Kenny [Dalglish] whether he thinks I'm ready or not." Liverpool are sixth in the Premier League table, four points behind Tottenham, who have a game in hand, but Gerrard believes they can still snatch a European place next season, with Dalglish's inspirational qualities being a significant factor.

"Our league form since Kenny came in is the best in the league so it's really positive," Gerrard told talkSPORT. "He is a players' manager. Players like playing for him because he talks to them, he's honest with them. We're hoping Kenny can bring the glory days back. We know there's a lot of hard work to do yet but there has been an improvement.

"We're just going to try to win the rest of our games and try to finish as high as we can. The aim for us is to try to sneak back into Europe come the end of the season." Gerrard also said the Reds' new-look front pairing of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez could prove decisive.

"We believe now that we've got the most feared strikeforce in the league," he said. "One thing that's important to remember with Andy is that he's superb on the floor. If we are in a difficult game or we are chasing a game we can be more direct but the good thing is, because we can mix it up, we can play either way now. We can play in behind, we can play long and with Suarez running off him. It gives us a whole new dimension."



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