Rodgers: No issue with Gerrard management

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists Steven Gerrard has no issue with how he is being managed after being left on the bench on Saturday.

Captain Gerrard was named among the substitutes for the second time in three games for the Premier League visit of Sunderland to Anfield that ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw.

The 34-year-old was eventually brought on in the 67th minute, but could not tilt the game in Liverpool's favour as Sunderland earned a deserved point from a disappointing encounter.

With a crucial UEFA Champions League clash with Basel and a trip to arch-rivals Manchester United on the horizon next week, Rodgers could be forgiven for wanting to keep his skipper fresh.

And the Northern Irishman once again stressed that there is no problem between himself and Gerrard over his recent decision to rotate the midfielder in and out of the starting XI.

"We have a big month ahead, December is a big month, there's big games," Rodgers said.

"The management of Steven is fine, there's no problem with that and we can't solely always rely on Steven.

"His talent is world class but that contribution has to come around the team. It can't be up to him every single game to be the catalyst. He'll play on Tuesday [versus Basel].

"It's very hard to replace that quality. Certainly here for Liverpool it's something that we need to find, that player of that stature and that quality. 

"He's got world-class ability and at this stage of his career it's me looking to manage that in order to play in the games."

Despite failing to break Sunderland down, Rodgers was eager to praise the effort of his players.

"I thought the second half was much better," he added. "I have to give credit to the players because our intention was to go and win the game. 

"[The] first half was a little slow but I thought second half we pressed the game much better but the ball wouldn't drop to us. We needed that little bit of luck.

"It was important for us that we kept the clean sheet, two clean sheets in three games and seven points out of nine this week. 

"It was a big effort from the players, I can't ask for any more than what they've given.

"You've got to give Sunderland credit, they defended well."