• Premier League

I'll admit I'm not 21 anymore - Gerrard

ESPN staff
October 24, 2013
Steven Gerrard guided England to next year's World Cup © PA Photos

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes he can still offer an attacking threat despite altering his style of play.

The 33-year-old has adopted a more defensive midfield role in the 16 months since Brendan Rodgers took charge at Anfield.

Gerrard acknowledges that, as he gets older, he is having to ration the forward surges from midfield that have made his name.

But he still has the ability to burst into opposition territory, as he proved with his charge through the middle to score the goal that secured World Cup qualification for England as they beat Poland 2-0 at Wembley on October 15.

And the midfielder - who signed a new contract in July to keep him at Anfield until 2015 - believes he is being helped at club level by Rodgers' recent decision to switch from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-4-1-2 set-up.

Gerrard feels he has been given extra protection when he does surge forward by the manager's move from two to three centre-backs.

The England captain told Liverpool's website: "I can get forward slightly more in this formation knowing that I have got three defenders behind me," Gerrard said.

"In general, whether the system changed or not, I have spoken to Brendan and he wants me to pick and choose my runs.

"Everybody understands that I'm not 21 anymore where I can burst into the box at every opportunity. With experience, I hope I can pick the right times for those bursts.

"I'm not going to become an out-and-out holding midfielder just yet. With the goal against Poland, I saw the opportunity late on and still had the energy to burst into the box and managed to get a toe on to it and settle everybody's nerves.

"Hopefully I have a few more of those in the locker before I become an out-and-out holding midfielder. Slowly with time I will adapt my game and maybe become a controlling midfielder.

"Certainly, for the remainder of this season I am still going to try and pick my runs to get forward into the box.

"I'll honestly and openly admit I'm not 21 anymore and I haven't got those energy levels where I can go forward every single time."

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