When Brendan Rodgers surveys the dressing room before Liverpool kick off their latest battle on the pitch, the manager sees a squad packed with the leadership qualities necessary in any team.

As the boss' embodiment on the field and captain for more than a decade, Steven Gerrard has proven the credentials of his character on too many occasions to name - not least Tuesday's Merseyside derby.

The whole squad, though, has drawn on reserves of spirit in recent times, notably in rescuing results and Barclays Premier League points from challenging match situations against Stoke City and Aston Villa.

And as the Reds prepare for their next obstacle - a trip to West Bromwich Albion - Rodgers explained why the wealth of leaders congregated in one group can be crucial for his team's ambitions.

He commented: "I looked at it the other night - Steven organising, dictating the game and ordering people about.

"Martin Skrtel has really taken on board the leadership qualities and was outstanding the other night. Kolo Toure is a natural leader.

"Before the game in the changing room, young Jon Flanagan was really vocal and organising. Luis Suarez and those types are natural leaders, Jordan is coming out of his shell.

"It's a natural evolution of the team and the group, and you see that character and personality starting to come into the team - that takes time, players understanding the method of work and the characteristics we're looking for. It's good to see.

"We've been challenged since I've been here, especially early on, about whether we have enough character, can we come back from losing positions and can we fight?

"I think we're seeing all of those qualities now. That will only improve as we grow together."

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