Johnson: We'll miss Gerrard

  • Last Updated: December 9 2013, 7:59 GMT

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson admits losing captain Steven Gerrard to injury is a blow but believes they have the quality to cope.

Steven Gerrard: Injury worry for Liverpool
Steven Gerrard: Injury worry for Liverpool

The Reds skipper limped out of the 4-1 win at home to West Ham with a hamstring problem but the extent of the damage will probably not be known until Monday.

He is set to miss next weekend's visit to Tottenham but could be sidelined for longer, which would put his participation over Christmas and the new year in doubt.

With striker Daniel Sturridge already ruled out with an ankle strain until mid-January and left-back Jose Enrique recovering from a knee operation manager Brendan Rodgers squad is starting to be stretched.

"Any team without Stevie is going to miss him, clearly," said Johnson.

"We have got a good squad and hopefully that (Gerrard's injury) is not as bad as it looks."

Victory over West Ham moved Liverpool back into second place in the table but Johnson insists that even though they are almost halfway through the season, averaging two points a game, he is not entertaining thoughts of a title challenge.

"Personally I don't look at that. It is in the back of your mind but if we keep picking up points we don't have to worry about that, it will take care of itself," he added.

"But we are good enough to be up there.

"We have some tough away games coming up. We only worry about the next one and I am sure we will step it up for the so-called bigger teams."

What Liverpool will need to rectify is their poor away record, having not won outside of Anfield since the end of September, and their inability to keep clean sheets with just one in the last dozen games.

"Every defender aims for a clean sheet. If you keep a clean sheet you can't lose a game but on the other hand if you score four every week you are happy," he said.

"Of course there is going to be a point when you don't score four. The back four has changed a bit through the games because of injury and illness but we have some great players and once we get that togetherness back we'll start keeping clean sheets.

"If we can start scoring a few more goals away and pick up a few more points it will blend in nicely with our home record."

Liverpool rarely give the impression they are defensively solid and when Martin Skrtel's own goal briefly put the Hammers back in it at 2-1 the Reds appeared to lose their composure.

"There were stages in the game when it was 2-0 and it looked like they wouldn't get out of their half but goals change games," said Johnson.

"When they got their first they put a bit of pressure on but we were good enough and strong enough to withstand that and go up the other end and score two.

"We coped with it. Once we went 2-1 down we didn't do anything wrong; they didn't get the equaliser and we went down the other end and scored twice.

"If you do that every time it goes to 2-1 you're going to be happy. "When a team gets one goal back they are going to be perked up and there are going to be a few nervy moments.

"The lads were brave, there were a couple of nervy moments but we stood strong, we sucked up all the pressure and hit them on the rebound."


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