Benitez looking for lift from Gerrard
The England international accepts his form has left him unhappy and that has been obvious watching his body language on the field. Benitez sympathises with Gerrard because he accepts the season has been a disappointing one but that does not mean he will absolve the player from taking any responsibility. So often in the past the 29-year-old has produced inspirational performances to get his side out of trouble but those displays have been sadly missing in the current campaign. But Benitez knows the quality Gerrard possesses and hopes to be able to spark that into life in the club's seven remaining Premier League matches as they chase fourth place. "I think more or less in terms of his position and his movement it is similar [to previous seasons]," said the Reds boss. "The team has had some problems and some players are suffering because we are not giving them too many good balls or options. "But Gerrard is an important player because he also has to create something for the rest of the team and he knows he has to improve. "But the main thing for me - and we have had conversations with the team - is that everyone knows we have to improve. "He is one of the players who is really focused and has a great determination to improve. "That is the first thing; if you want to improve you have to believe you can do it and work hard trying to do it." Benitez also reiterated his belief that his big-name players had to start delivering the kind of performances which would get the team out of difficult situations. "In both ways it is important; the team has to give chances to the likes of Fernando Torres and he will score more goals," said the Spaniard. "And also when the team needs them they need to be there and when the team is not playing well they have to be leaders by example. "They have to be a mixture of things. Always from your important players you expect them to be there and the rest of the players following them. "That is the way if you want to be a strong team." Gerrard, who was troubled by a niggling injury earlier in the season, has scored only nine goals this season - his worst campaign since 2006-7. That has prompted questions about not only his form but his long-term future at the club. However, the player remains confident he can turn things around soon. "I think it can be better, if you look at my form through the season as a whole I am not totally happy, I have not reached the level I would like to be at," he said. "It is not worrying me as I still have confidence that it can switch and turn at any given time to where I would want it to be. "I have played well this season but I have come out of games when I have not been totally happy. "I am my own worse critic, I know myself when it is good and when it needs to be stepped up and the challenge for me now in the remaining games is to step up and drive Liverpool into fourth, try to go to the Europa League final and go to the World Cup." One player unlikely to be given a chance to do that is winger Albert Riera, who is destined to go out on loan to a Russian club before the close of their transfer window early next month. The Spain international angered Benitez with his outspoken criticism last week, claiming the manager does not communicate with players and describing Liverpool as a "sinking ship". "We are working with different clubs trying to find a solution at this moment," said the manager. "We will try to do some business if we can and see what happens."