Suarez is the best I've played with: Gerrard

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 14:52 hrs

Read on for an exclusive interview with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard:

Q) Steven, things appear to be looking up at Liverpool at last. You go into this game against Spurs on the back of three good wins against Swansea, Zenit and Wigan and finally showing some consistency. Is that a good sign?

A) "I hope so. I think we've been gradually improving over the course of the season. We've got a new manager with new ideas and new systems and we've been working hard on that. I think we're starting to see the rewards but there's a long way to go obviously; we all know where we want to take this club. The fans here deserve to see trophies and Champions League football. That's what Liverpool is about."

Q) Your own performances seem to have really picked up in the second half of the season too. Do you agree?

A) "I do. I felt there was a spark missing early on in the season, but in the last two or three months my form has picked up and it's exactly where I want it to be. Hopefully I can maintain that until the end of the season."

Q) So what changed do you think?

A) "The difference at the moment is assists and goals added to good performances. At the beginning of the season, sometimes I was playing well but maybe the goals and assists weren't there. That's why people are saying good things about my performances now."

Q) Playing Spurs won't be easy but you've had some decent results this season against the big clubs - drawing away at Man City and Arsenal for instance?

A) "That's true. I thought we played very well at Man City and could have won there actually. So we might not have got the results we wanted against the top sides, but every time, we have certainly matched them if not bettered them in games. That's a good sign. If we keep performing like we have been, then I think there's still a chance to challenge for the top four."

Q) It could be a difficult task - at the moment Liverpool are 10 points behind fourth place in seventh. Can it be done?

A) “We have to keep going because the team is looking really strong at the moment. Before the transfer window, we were lacking a bit up front, as Luis Suarez was almost having to do two jobs. But now Daniel Sturridge has come in and given us more options going forward. Daniel has done brilliantly for us so far."

Q) Anything is possible when you have Luis Suarez in your team?

A) "Of course. I think he’s world-class, he has everything and we are very lucky to have him. We want him to stay a long time, and if Liverpool are to be successful in years to come, Luis Suarez will play a big part in that."

Q) Tell us more about what he's like?

A) "As a person he’s a very quiet guy, a family man; I am next to him in the dressing-room and every time I ask him what he’s doing he’ll say he’s going to be with his family. But when he goes on the training field or a football pitch he turns into a fighter - a winner. So when you are trying to win prizes against the top teams, Luis Suarez is someone you’d want in your side."

Q) Is he the best player in the country at the moment? Could he be chosen as the Footballer of the Year?

A) "I hope so because he certainly deserves that accolade. I’d go as far as to say he’s the best player I’ve played with and I’ve played with many world-class players."

Q) Your great friend Jamie Carragher has recently announced he will retire at the end of the season. So I'm sure you want to help him go out on a high.  Is it going to be weird without him in the dressing room in future?

A) "It is, definitely. I’ve tried just as hard as everyone else to try to keep him going for a bit longer. But we have to respect his decision. He’s had a fantastic career and he feels it’s the right time to go out, at the end of the season. Hopefully there are still some big performances left in him before he goes. Everyone knows what we’re going to miss on the playing side. Since I made my debut Jamie has been alongside me in the dressing room and been a close mate of mine. It’s going to be different and no-one is going to miss Jamie more than me.’

Q) What about your manager at Liverpool now, Brendan Rodgers. What's life under him like?

A) "It's good and as I say, I think we are making progress. He wants to win matches and be successful here. He gave up a top job at Swansea where he’d done fantastically well. He had the confidence and character to take this big job where the demands and expectations are there on a daily basis. If you were looking for a young manager to bring us success you’d pick Brendan Rodgers and I think he's going to do well. You can see the team is improving."

Q) England must also be on your mind right now - it's only a couple of weeks until they play big World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and San Marino isn't it?

A) "They are crucial games for us. With all due respect to San Marino, that's a game we should win comfortably but you have to be professional. Then Montenegro is going to be a massive game. But it’s one I think we can win.”
Q) How do you assess England's qualification group? It could get a bit nervy if you mess up this time?

A) "I think there is a lot of hard work to do; that's for sure. We are certainly not underestimating where we are and how much there is to do. But if we get three points in Montenegro it puts us back in the driving seat. I think Ukraine have had a couple of disappointing results, which have helped us. So at the moment it's looking like a two-horse race. If we can beat them in their back yard it's going to be good.
“The main thing is we don’t want to have to play a play-off game. No way!”
Q) Most of the big names in the England squad have won big trophies, Champions Leagues and titles. But is the only thing missing a trophy with your country?

A) "I think that's why we are sticking about. Because we have all had good careers with our clubs, but we are all desperate to achieve something with England. The country would go wild if we were to have a successful tournament. I've always said that the big things I want to achieve in my career are a league title with Liverpool and a trophy with England. It's going to be hard but you can never give up on it."

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