'Don't panic!' Gerrard tells Liverpool
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, right, vies for the ball with Gomel's Artur Liatvinski during their Europa League qualifying third round soccer match in Gomel, Belarus, Thursday, Aug. 2 2012. AP photo
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted that his team were stunned by their 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion but is adamant there is no reason to panic.
Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League match as Liverpool manager on Saturday turned into a dispiriting experience for everyone connected with the club, as Albion romped to a shock victory after Reds defender Daniel Agger was sent off.
But Gerrard felt the one-sided nature of the score was harsh on Liverpool, who missed several good chances before falling behind to a stunning strike from Zoltan Gera.
And the England midfielder believes Rodgers is already beginning to make a positive impact on a club looking to rebuild after their worst league finish for 18 years.
"The feeling after was one of total shock with the result. It was never a 3-0 game," Gerrard told local newspaper the Liverpool Echo.
"I fancied us to go there, dominate and win but things didn't work out that way. In football you can be left feeling hard done by. "It's not the start we wanted but it's no time for panic. It's only the first game and it was one bad day at the office.
"We've got to look at the bigger picture. There's been so much hope around the place and rightly so." Gerrard knows it is vital that he and other senior players like Jamie Carragher and Jose Reina ensure that the rest of the squad keep their composure after such a dismal start to the Rodgers era.
He will remind his team-mates that they have the ideal chance to bounce back in Thursday's Europa League tie against Scottish club Hearts at Tynecastle.
"After a 3-0 defeat everyone is going to be concerned," Gerrard said. "It's important that the likes of myself and the other experienced players take responsibility for a poor defeat.
"We have to put it behind us. We've got to dust ourselves down and bounce back against Hearts (in the Europa League) on Thursday night. We have to react in the right manner and look to put things right in the coming games." Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam has dismissed speculation about his future at Anfield by insisting he is determined to fight for his place.
Adam, signed last year by former manager Kenny Dalglish, has lost his place to fit-again Lucas Leiva and new signing Joe Allen, but the Scotland international said: "I am happy at Liverpool and why would I leave after a year? There is no point.
"I am open enough to say I have had a conversation with the manager but for me I'm not going anywhere.
"I am playing with some of the best players in the world, I have a good coach, good manager, and I am learning every day from what he is doing. I want to play this year and hopefully I get the opportunity to do that."