Gerrard one of the best - Adkins

BY foxsports • April 13, 2013

Tottenham midfielder Sandro says he is on course to recover from a serious knee injury in time to be fit for next season.

Last month, Sandro returned to his native Brazil to undergo rehab with former club Internacional on the injury he sustained against QPR in January.

"I've got three months to go," said Sandro. "I've started to run, I'm developing. Sometimes I try too much and the knee swells up. I have to listen to the doctor. I have to give the injury enough time, but I dream that I am playing."

The 24-year-old says he hopes he can regain the excellent form he showed before his injury on his return so he can earn a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup in his homeland.

"I was in the best phase of my life as a player, so it was hard when I had the injury," he said. "Hopefully I'll be back playing with my club and then I can think about the national team. When I return I will be stronger."

Sandro also hopes to be returning to a side playing in the UEFA Champions League, although that is far from certain.

With six games to go, Tottenham are fourth in the table, but Arsenal are two points behind them with a game in hand.

"We have to fight to stay in fourth place," Sandro told Globo Esporte. "Last year was complicated. We did not classify because Chelsea were the champions of Europe.

"The Champions League is a different competition (to the Europa League). Everything the fans see is what the player feels... the entrance music, the stadia, the fans... everything is amazing.

"I made first played in the competition in 2010 when we beat AC Milan at the San Siro. We beat Inter Milan, too, and we only lost in the quarter-finals to Real Madrid.

"It was a really great experience. Hopefully the club will compete in the competition again."

The Royals host Liverpool at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and while mathematically they are capable of bridging the eight-point gap to safety, in reality they are doomed to relegation.

Gerrard is the Liverpool player Adkins admires most - not least for the superb conditioning that has enabled the 32-year-old to play every minute of every Premier League game this season.

"You need to watch Steven Gerrard live to see how quickly he picks a pass out," Adkins said.

"His vision is superb but he also has the technique to deliver a full range of passes.

"He's a talisman for Liverpool and always has been. He drives them on and is a leader, taking a grip on the match when he needs to.

"When you talk about midfielders there are different types, but he's one you'd consider being in a starting XI of any all-time Premier League team.

"The fact he's played so much football shows how professional he's been in looking after his body. It's a testament to him.

"If you want to play games, then you need to look after your body."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was sacked by Reading in 2009 after just six months in charge, but Adkins doubts there will be any special desire to demonstrate to his former employers that they made a mistake.

"Brendan doesn't have anything to prove to us. He's a fantastic manager," he said.

"He was here, was very successful at Swansea and is doing a fantastic job at Liverpool. He's a footballing man who improves his players.

"He has teams that are really exciting to watch, so I don't believe he has anything to prove to anybody."

Adkins hinted that his players have the six matches left in Reading's season to prove they should remain in his plans for next season.

"Every player knows that the transfer window opens at the end of the season and that all clubs do business, moving people around. Here will be no exception," he said.

"The players have been spot on in training and the attitude of the players tells me they want to stay at Reading."


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