Coutinho admits Liverpool missed Steven Gerrard at the start of the season

However, the Brazilian has said that the club are focussed on moving forward despite the absence of their former captain rather than dwelling on it.

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho is quoted by the Echo as admitting that the club missed the input of Reds legend and recently departed midfielder Steven Gerrard in the opening few weeks of the season, as the club seek to make an impression in the league.

The Brazilian played 90 minutes in the disappointing home draw with Norwich on Sunday, but had earlier said that despite the 35-year-old's transfer away this summer, the club and players were now looking to a future without the Liverpool native.

"A real leader has left, one of the club’s greatest players and an idol for all of us," Coutinho is quoted by the Echo as saying.

"I think everyone felt his absence a bit at the start, but Liverpool is now moving forward without Gerrard and we’re all pulling together in his absence.

"I think it’s more a case that everyone’s level of responsibility has gone up.

"[But] in truth I don’t feel any extra pressure. Every time I step onto the pitch, I just want to do my best, to enjoy myself and to entertain Liverpool’s fans.

"I don’t think about the pressure, I just want to play football and help the team."

After two wins in their first two Premier League matches, the Reds have gone on a winless run that has seen them draw three and lose two of the five matches since, with the Reds lacking the experience and quality to get those winning goals or make their chances pay, something Gerrard may well have helped inspire if he was still at his hometown outfit.

It wouldn't be a surprise if Liverpool were missing the qualities of the former England captain, especially given all he achieved at the club over his many years at Anfield. And Gerrard would be even more welcome back at the Reds right now though given the news that his replacement as skipper, Jordan Henderson, has suffered a broken bone in his right foot and will be out of action for as much as two months.

In the absence of Henderson, and given Gerrard's departure, James Milner has been thrust into an essential role both as a central midfielder and as a leader for Liverpool's young side, and the former Manchester City star will surely have a big role to play if Brendan Rodgers' side are to return to their encouraging initial form this season.

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