Carragher: Reds must shape up

BY foxsports • November 19, 2010

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has urged the team to rise to the challenge of losing captain Steven Gerrard for up to a month.

One startling statistic this season is that all the team's goals have either come from, or been created by Gerrard or Fernando Torres.

With the captain now out for a month it could easily be argued Liverpool have lost at least 50% of their cutting edge.

But Carragher, who will lead the side in the 30-year-old's absence, insists they have to adapt and cope - starting against Premier League bottom side West Ham at Anfield on Saturday.

"There is no doubt Steven will be missed whether we win, lose or draw because he is such an important player here," said Carragher, who recently described Gerrard as the best player in the club's history.

"But it is up to us to perform well and lessen the impact, like when we beat Spurs (2-0) in January without him and Fernando.

"There are a few similarities because that game came a few days after a disappointing result against Stoke when we drew 1-1 but we showed we could bounce back."

Carragher added in the Liverpool Echo: "Everyone knows what great quality Steven has and it is frustrating for everyone - though nobody more than him - that he is out because he has been in such good form.

There has been some good news on the injury front, although the return of defenders Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio hardly compensates for the loss of Gerrard.

Johnson has been out for three games with an adductor strain while Aurelio, who has struggled with Achilles and groin injuries, has made just one 25-minute substitute appearance since August 26.

"It's nice to have some good news," said Dr Peter Brukner, head of sports medicine and sports science.

"Fabio's worked incredibly hard. I think we all know he's had a horrendous run with injuries in the last two or three years and he got injured again a few weeks ago.

"He's worked very hard to get himself right. He's trained for the last week or so and played the majority of the reserve game on Tuesday, and I'm happy to report that he's come through that well.

"He's available for first-team selection this week and hopefully his injury problems are in the past."