• Premier League

'Calmer' Suarez vows to reform

ESPN staff
October 8, 2013
Luis Suarez scored twice on his return to Premier League action against Sunderland © PA Photos

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez insists he is a calmer man following his ten-match suspension and is determined "not to be the same as before".

Since returning from the hefty ban handed down after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, Suarez has scored three goals in two league games to help Liverpool to move level with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

The bite was one of a number of controversial incidents during his career, which include an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine for racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011, but he believes he is now more relaxed on the field.

"I am aware that in recent matches that I played I've been calmer," he said.

"I am very self-critical and I realised that playing well, with more tranquility, is helping me a lot. I realise and I prefer to continue and not be the same as before."

Suarez also credited Steven Gerrard with helping convince him to stay at Anfield this season despite strong interest from Arsenal.

Liverpool captain Gerrard stressed several times in the summer that he was eager for Suarez to stay put, and the striker told the media in Uruguay: "I do not know if he prayed but what he said is what he feels because he was talking to me all the time.

"Gerrard, for me, is a legend in Liverpool and a great team-mate that helped me a lot. His attitude was an extra boost for me to take the decision to stay in Liverpool - both he and the fans of Liverpool influenced much for that.

"I admire him for the great player he is worldwide. For me he will always be a benchmark and at club level he is the best player I have played with in my career, as a person and as a footballer."

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