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Rafa allays Gerrard worries

Rafa allays Gerrard worries

By Peter ORourke - Created on 27 Jul 2007

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has played down fears over Steven Gerrard's fitness.

Gerrard was restricted to a late cameo appearance in Friday's Asia Trophy final against Portsmouth after missing the opening game of the tournament against South China earlier this week.

The England international has been struggling with a stomach muscle problem, but Benitez insists the midfield dynamo will be fit for the big kick-off next month.

"I think it was okay, he is at 80 per cent, so we didn't want to take too many risks," Benitez told Sky Sports 1.

"We used him at the end and he scored his penalty and in two or three days he will be okay for sure.

"There is no problem for the start of the season."

Benitez was disappointed to lose the final to Portsmouth on penalties, but he could take positives from the club's trip to Hong Kong.

"I am a little bit disappointed," added Benitez, "We dominated the game, we had some chances and you need to take your chances, in football it is always the same.

"I think we had plenty of possession and also some clear chances but it is football and you need to score.

"This tournament was good for us. We played two games against good teams and you can see the mentality of the players and also the competition for each position."


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