Gerrard: Reds lucky to have Luis

  • Last Updated: May 6 2014, 22:55 BST

Captain Steven Gerrard believes striker Luis Suarez is the player who will ensure Liverpool have more highs than lows in the coming years.

Steven Gerrard: Full of praise for Luis Suarez
Steven Gerrard: Full of praise for Luis Suarez

The Uruguay international was in tears after the Reds squandered a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes to go at Crystal Palace on Monday night to draw and hand the title-race initiative to Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini's side are one point behind Liverpool, still top of the table, but have a superior goal difference with two matches still to play.

Suarez has been brilliant for his side this season, scoring 31 league goals and deservedly winning both the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' player of the year awards.

At the club's own inaugural awards dinner he claimed another hat-trick for the season with three trophies for goal of the season, players' player of the year and player of the year, voted for by fans.

And Gerrard led the praise of the 27-year-old.

"Luis seems to be cleaning up at the moment, he's won everything, and we are lucky to have such a world-class talent like Luis playing here with us and helping us to great things and be successful," said the England captain.

"He is out there by a big distance (as the best player I have played with) and that is no disrespect to all the players I've played with, there has been some top talent for club and country, but this fella can do the lot, he is different to most footballers.

"I don't have to mention his talent, you can see it out there, and he is a winner who is doesn't give up.

"There is some disappointment looming around but if this fella stays around for a few more years I think there will be some really big nights."

While the title Liverpool have waited 24 years for may now not materialise, Gerrard insisted the season had not been a failure.

"It has been incredible. There is no doubt to bring Champions League football back is an unbelievable achievement as it is so difficult to achieve," he added.

"We've made huge strides as a team and we will continue to fight all the way to the end.

"We will have to wait and see how the final couple of games pan out but we'll keep our fingers crossed.

"The plan is to go and beat Newcastle. If it is not to be, we keep fighting.

"The biggest message when you sign for this club is you never get too high when you win an award or trophy and you never get too down when one slips away - literally slips away.

"You continue to fight game by game but for me I stand here really proud of my team-mates and have a huge belief that if this group of players stick together and we can make the right additions in the summer the future is bright for the club."

Less than 24 hours after conceding the Premier League title to City, manager Brendan Rodgers promised the team would "fight for their lives as you never know what can happen".

Speaking to a captive audience, Rodgers suggested there was still a glimmer of hope.

"This season the players have allowed the supporters to dream and for a club of this size and magnitude - to be a point ahead at the top of the table with a week to go you never know what can happen - it has been magnificent," he said.

"I promise for the time I am here we will fight for our lives and we won't finish until Newcastle."

Rodgers, who received a standing ovation from his players after winning an outstanding achievement award less than two years into his tenure, maintained there were still positives to take from the season.

"Last night was difficult. If you were in the changing room last night you would have felt how much it mattered to everyone.

"The key thing to remember is the journey we are on is going to have good and bad times but through it all we have to stick together as that is the Liverpool way.

"We will finish the season strong and keep going to strive to be the best."