Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has reinforced the importance of a sense of control as his team attempt to open up a five-point advantage at the summit of the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

The Reds will be searching for an 11th successive victory in the division when they tackle Norwich City at Carrow Road, boosted too by the fact that closest rivals Chelsea were beaten yesterday.

Immediately after the full-time whistle signalled that Brendan Rodgers' side had defeated Manchester City 3-2 last weekend, the skipper delivered a passionate urge for focus to his colleagues.

And, seven days later, that sentiment has not been shaken, with the 33-year-old fully aware of his need to remain calm and reflect that mentality to the rest of the squad, the staff and supporters.

"I think in the dressing room players are looking to me and how I behave," Gerrard told The Telegraph. "So it's important that I stay calm and stay positive but they all know that I am there if they need me.

"That's my job; if all the fans and the staff and the players are looking to me, then good. I am ready for it. They are there, the nerves, the excitement.

"They are there because we have earned the right to have those kinds of feelings. The challenge for me, which is just as important as being on the pitch now, is can I control myself and can I get on with my life for the next four weeks? Can I control it?

"We want to go for it and win the four but going back to managing emotion - that's what I have to try and do. Manage it.

"I have to blank out the last three games against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Newcastle. It would be very stupid of myself and the team to think: 'What a position we are in. We have only got Norwich.'

"You just hang on to that one small glimmer of hope that one day you can have one small chance, one final go before you hang your boots up. And it's here.

"But you only get what you deserve when it happens. We deserve to be where we are. I do feel we have been the best team in the league - but nothing is achieved yet."


The England international has thrived since transforming into a deep-lying, controlling midfielder three months ago, in a move foreseen and masterminded by the No.8's manager, Rodgers.

Gerrard and the Northern Irishman enjoy a productive and close working relationship, and the captain has revealed the huge depth of respect and appreciation he feels for the current boss.

He continued: "When Brendan came in, I got a real feeling from him in our first conversation that I had. Not because he was telling me personally what he wanted from me, but because I liked his vision for the club.

"I totally believe in this manager and his plans. I totally believe. I bought into that from the first conversation. He's a phenomenal man for his age.

"I think he's going to grow into one of the world's best managers and I hope he is here long after I am gone. I hope he is here for many, many years because this club is in great hands.

"Whatever happens now until the end of the season, it's safe. He's a winner, he's hungry for success, he does the right things, he treats players well.

"He just focuses on getting on the training pitch and coaching the team, improving individuals, improving the team and playing football the right way. That's what the supporters want here."

Those supporters have truly lived up to their '12th man' billing alongside their team's remarkable progress on the field, with Anfield an incredible arena of noise for each and every home fixture.

Fans have taken to lining the streets around the stadium to welcome their heroes before kick-off, then coming together inside the ground to create an atmosphere which has visibly affected opponents.

Gerrard commented: "I love seeing the fans. I love to see smiles on their faces at the moment. I love to see them dreaming. I love to see them believing. I love it - it's great.

"It's something we haven't had here for a long time. We've had it in cup competitions and we've given them many good nights and many dreams, but this is different because this is the league title.

"I'm as happy as I have ever been at the moment. I'm skipping into work and I love this manager and the coaching staff and I adore my teammates."