Gerrard urges Liverpool owners to 'dig deep'
Departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has urged the club's owners to spend big in the transfer market to help mount a concerted Premier League title challenge next season.
Gerrard is set to bring an end to his 17-year senior career at Anfield when he leaves for LA Galaxy in MLS at the conclusion of this campaign.
The former England captain nodded in the equaliser as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, a result that effectively ends their slim hopes of achieving a top-four finish and UEFA Champions League qualification.
"We wanted to make a statement with our performance [at Chelsea], with additions we can compete next year," he told Sky Sports.
"We've come up a bit short. We need the owners to try and dig deep and help [manager] Brendan [Rodgers] to try and improve.
"There's a great core of players, there's terrific potential and it's important that you try and compete with the giant clubs in the league because they're all going to spend big."
Liverpool gave Premier League champions Chelsea a guard of honour before the game and Gerrard was afforded a warm reception when he was substituted late in the second half on what could be his last visit to Stamford Bridge.
"Chelsea fans have shown me respect for a couple of seconds but slaughtered me all day," he said. "It was nice of them to show up for once.
"What's important is the support from the Liverpool fans, they've been with me from day one."
Gerrard was described as "a champion" by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho this week and the midfielder returned the compliment to the Portuguese, who has tried to sign him on a number of occasions in the past.
"I have huge respect for him. He's the best manager in the world in my opinion," Gerrard said.
"I would have signed for him on three occasions if I wasn't such a big Liverpool fan.
"He's the reason my head was turned on a couple of occasions but he knew why I couldn't do it, because I love Liverpool. It always means more when you win for your people."