Brendan Rodgers hailed Jamie Carragher's 'immense' performance in his final Merseyside derby after Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw against Everton on Sunday - and spoke of the difficulty he will have replacing the No.23 this summer.
Carragher turned in a typically-dedicated defensive display against the Blues at Anfield as the teams shared the spoils.
Afterwards, Rodgers acknowledged the centre-back's commitment to the Liverpool cause will be hard to replace when he retires at the end of the season.
"Jamie Carragher was immense, he's a real colossal player and he's only got two games left for the club," the boss told his post-match press conference.
"His influence is superb, on the training field every day and in the changing room. He's so professional.
"You saw him out there at 35 and he was at the top of his game.
"He was absolutely outstanding - and having worked with him for so long, I can clearly see why he was one of Europe's top defenders for so many years.
"We'll have to search far and wide to get someone in to be at that level."
Rodgers also praised the performance of another local lad, Steven Gerrard, after the Reds' captain delivered a man-of-the-match display.
Gerrard sprayed passes around the park, burst towards goal and launched himself into tackles from the first whistle to the last.
"I thought Steven was outstanding," said Rodgers. "He kept wanting to get on the ball and make things happen and his penetration through the middle of the field was excellent."
Liverpool carved out a host of chances to break the deadlock throughout the game.
Phil Jagielka denied Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho in the first half before Sturridge was thwarted on several occasions after the interval.
"We had two one-on-ones," said Rodgers. "Coutinho played a brilliant pass and Sturridge has either got to take it early or get around the 'keeper - and he tried to go around the 'keeper but ran too wide with it.
"Steve made a great burst [through on goal] but was unfortunate and there was another great chance when Borini makes that early run into the six-yard box and almost has a tap in. In the second half we were better and the players kept going - I can't fault them.
"We need to find one or two players who can help us make the difference in games like that. We've had a lot of draws this season and that's something that we need to find the solution for next year.
"But I am happy with the way the group has been progressing. We weren't at our best today, but what you need to make sure in games like this is that you are competitive. We kept our 15th clean sheet of the season and the balance of our game was getting better.
"We've scored a lot of goals this year but we obviously need to improve in that aspect as well to be able to break down teams who come and maybe want to defend that wee bit deeper. But that's for the future."
Everton thought they had opened the scoring in the second half, but Sylvain Distin's header from a corner was ruled out for a foul.
Asked for his thoughts on the incident, Rodgers replied: "I wasn't 100 per cent sure at the time whether it was for Sylvain Distin's push on Jamie Carragher or whether it was Victor Anichebe. But the referee saw it early and he was clear.
"I thought Michael Oliver did very well today. I thought he was excellent.
"It was different to the decision at Goodison Park [Luis Suarez's disallowed goal]. That was clearly onside. If you look at this decision here, the referee has had a clear view of it - there's nothing blocking him.
"The ball is already in flight, and then before there is any contact anywhere near, the referee blows.
"So I think the decision was clear and that was probably Everton's best possibility to score form a set-piece. They are strong and aggressive and they can go and attack the ball, but I thought we coped with that quite well."