Gerrard: Stage set for Mario

Steven Gerrard insists the stage is set for Mario Balotelli to become a star at Liverpool - now it is up to him to take his chance.

Last Updated: 31/08/14 at 09:52 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Italy striker, 24, is set to make his debut at Tottenham this weekend, live on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday, and complete a sensational return to the Premier League after two years at AC Milan.

Reds captain Gerrard admits they have had to make adjustments in the dressing room to welcome Balotelli – known for his eccentric and sometimes controversial character on and off the pitch.

But Gerrard says the club will support his every need and provide him with a platform to become their next goalscoring talisman.

“What about Mario? Does he want to grab it? Does he want to become a star at Liverpool?,” Gerrard questioned in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News HQ.

“The support is waiting to get behind him and push him and it’s all about whether he wants it or not. I believe he’s capable.

“We know what type of character he is and that needs a bit of support, but he belongs to us now so it’s up to me, the players and the staff to look after him and make sure we give him a platform to perform.

“We’ve not had too much of his character yet – only a few minor changes in the dressing room, like the music changing and a few little alterations we’ve had to make.  But we’re fine (with the way he is).

“I’m looking forward to seeing what reaction he gets from the Liverpool supporters because, for me, they’re the best in the world.”

Liverpool have endured a sluggish start to the season so far, scraping a narrow win at home to Southampton on the opening day before losing 3-1 at Manchester City last weekend.

And Gerrard said: “It’s going to be very difficult to improve on last season because if we do we’ll be champions.

“Last season we were terrific consistency wise, we had a small group of players and we were on a wave of confidence and belief. But it’s gone now. We’ve got to move on.

“The problem is; everyone else has brought really well. The league is going to be a lot more difficult to compete in this year.”

“But I believe we will compete and be up there come the end and that’s because the manager has bought well. I think we’ll get stronger as the season goes on again.”

Tottenham v Liverpool is live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.30pm on Sunday.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Sky sources: Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Rooney Enjoying 'Scholes' Role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is revelling in his position as an attacking central midfielder, after he scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property