Brendan Rodgers says he won’t let emotion influence his decision to play Steven Gerrard in Liverpool’s end of season run in.
The Liverpool captain is set to return to the squad for tonight’s fixture with Swansea, and has a maximum of 13 games left at the club before he bids farewell and moves to LA Galaxy in the summer.
Gerrard has not featured since the win over Tottenham last month after injuring his hamstring, and Rodgers side has a decent record in his absence.
And the Northern Irishman says his selection will be based on what he thinks best for the team – and not to do with sentiment.
“This is a guy who is one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League and arguably the greatest player in the history of this club,” Rodgers said.
“But what I do know is that Stevie always puts the team first. I have huge respect for him whether he is playing or not playing and huge admiration for him as a player and a person.
“But I am not one that makes emotional decisions on whether I like someone or not. For me it is about picking and finding the right balance in the team and what makes the team function to ultimately win. He still has big qualities that we will need between now and the end of the season.
“I’m managing a situation here with arguably the greatest player to have played for the club towards the end of his career. Of course there are challenges.
“There was with Luis Suarez, Jamie Carragher. It is about managing all these situations whilst trying to build a team to make this club competitive again at the very highest level. You earn your money.”