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.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Slaven Bilic missing from West Ham bench for Europa League opener

Academy manager Terry Westley will be in charge when West Ham make their Europa League debut against Andorran side FC Lusitans.

Matej Vydra joins Watford on five-year deal after two loan spells

Striker Matej Vydra is back with Watford, this time on a permanent basis after signing a five-year deal to join the club from Udinese.

Cech thanks Roman for overruling Jose

Petr Cech has thanked Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for allowing him to join Arsenal against Jose Mourinho's wishes.

Mail Box

Are United Aiming Too High On Transfers?

One mailer wonders whether United are aiming a little high on their transfer ambitions. Plus, BAHs, West Ham in Europe, petty annoyances and Michu to United...

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company