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The FA Cup

Brendan Rodgers on Gerrard/Henderson comparisons, and what makes a successful season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers addressed the media ahead of this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final tie with Blackburn Rovers.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to be assessed over the next couple of days, according to manager Brendan Rodgers, ahead of this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final tie with Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.

Gerrard hasn't played since he was substituted during the Reds' 3-2 win over Tottenham on February 10, after suffering from a hamstring injury, but it appears that a starting role is not guaranteed for the 34-year-old if he is fit to play.

Rodgers was asked about Gerrard's role within the side between now and the end of the season given how well they have performed as unit in their captain's absence, but he refused to be drawn into things, saying: 

"Nobody has a God-given right to walk into the team. Having Steven Gerrard back will be better for our squad. There's no story here because he's not fit yet."

Jordan Henderson has been performing well in Gerrard's absence, and having scored from distance twice in a week while wearing the captain's armband, there has inevitably been a comparison drawn between the two, with QPR midfielder Joey Barton accusing Henderson of 'copying' the Reds legend.

Rodgers said: "You should stop trying to put pressure on Jordan Henderson. Just because he shoots from outside the box doesn't mean he's Steven Gerrard. He's making his own headlines.

"I'd tell every young player to copy Gerrard."

The Liverpool boss has also spoken of his desire to win the FA Cup this season and talked about the progression the club has made under his stewardship. 

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "The first year here is about integration. The second year objective was to get into the Champions League, this season I felt we had the depth to challenge for trophies."

Liverpool were knocked out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage by eventual winners Chelsea but know they have a good opportunity in this competition, but they face a Blackburn side who have beaten two Premier League opponents at Ewood Park this season in the form of Stoke City and Swansea City, and Rodgers is wary of the task ahead.

The Liverpool boss also commented on what would be a successful season for the club, given that they came so close to ending their wait for a league title last season.

He said: "Our objective is to finish as high as we can, not just fourth, and win a trophy.

"If we can arrive in the top four and win a trophy that will be success for us this season."

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