Gerrard optimistic over Reds

A summer of significant recruitment has added strength and depth to

a squad which was lacking in a number of areas over the last couple

of seasons. Kenny Dalglish’s side may have lost twice already this

campaign – at Stoke and Tottenham – but a 1-1 draw at home to

Manchester United at the weekend has given Gerrard, who made his

first start in seven months at Anfield on Saturday, renewed

confidence about the future. The England midfielder scored a

free-kick and had it not been for the brilliance of United

goalkeeper David de Gea both Dirk Kuyt and Jordan Henderson could

have scored late winners in a match the home side probably just

edged. “We’ve got to put it into perspective. We were playing

probably the best side in the league,” said Gerrard. “It goes to

show how far this team and this squad has come that we’re

disappointed not to have taken maximum points off Manchester

United. “We stood up to the test and we’ve proved we’re up there as

good as the best in the league. “We are really confident we can

push on from this game now and put in a real good fight for the top

four.” Gerrard believes significant investment in the playing staff

by Fenway Sports Group, who marked their first anniversary in

charge on Saturday, is starting to bear fruit. “We have improved

and are a lot stronger and you sum a side up by how strong your

bench is,” he added. “If you look at our bench against United we

had Craig Bellamy, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson – that goes to

show how much stronger we’ve got over the last couple of years. “It

is a really big positive when you know you have got big subs coming

on and we are really happy with how things are going at the moment.

“All those players (and other summer signings like Jose Enrique,

Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing) have made our squad an awful lot

stronger. “There is a mixture of experienced and young and it will

take time to settle and produce top form on a consistent basis.

“But I think there are going to be big things from those players.”