Benitez orders more from Gerrard
November 23, 2006 7:13pm CST
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he wants captain Steven Gerrard to demonstrate his leadership qualities as the Anfield giants battle a midfield injury crisis. Gerrard, now back in his favored central midfield position, played a starring role in the Champions League Group C 2-0 win over PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but Benitez will now demand even more from the England man. "Now it is clear that he must take more responsibility in midfield with Momo Sissoko and Xabi Alonso both out injured," said Benitez. "He must take that responsibility and say: 'I'm here, give me the ball and I will score.' "Now we hope for all these things from our captain." Wednesday saw Gerrard's best display of a disrupted season, in which he has been at pains to insist he is prepared to play in a right-sided midfield role for the good of the team. But he has rarely missed a chance to state a preference and was quick to point out after the victory against the Dutch champions. "It goes without saying that I enjoy playing in central midfield," said Gerrard. "It's my favorite position and where I like to play." Liverpool paid a high price for their group-topping victory which ensured their best points haul ever at this stage of the competition. Mark Gonzalez will miss at least three weeks with a torn hamstring while Alonso has a thigh muscle injury and Jermaine Pennant is struggling with a hamstring strain. Alonso and Pennant are major doubts for Saturday's home match against Manchester City. Benitez also has Sissoko out until well into next year with a dislocated shoulder.