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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Nutboy
Wenger: Diaby deserves respect

L

iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

paulay8
Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent

M

y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

gittoplo
Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo scores second straight hat-trick in Real Madrid rout

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 25th hat-trick for Real Madrid as he grabbed four goals in a huge 5-1 home win over Elche.

Capital One Cup Live

Live updates from the Capital One Cup third round as well as the latest news and views from the world of sport.

Scottish football: Former Celtic striker John Divers has died aged 74

Former Celtic striker John Divers has died. He was 74.

Mail Box

Is Moyes The Big Winner This Season?

Man United and Everton are making David Moyes look good enough for Newcastle. We have lots of mails on Steven Gerrard but mostly Man United and Van Gaal...

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

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