‘Outstanding’ Gerrard praised

Gerrard returned to Rodgers??? starting line-up having been rested at the weekend, and inspired his side to a third away league win of the season on Tuesday night.

The 34-year-old’s absence came amid reports of a bust-up with his manager ??? something Rodgers firmly denies ??? and the Reds captain is still mulling over whether to sign a new contract on offer.

But Rodgers insists the Reds skipper remains an essential part of the team and hailed his display in a 3-1 win over the Foxes.

???He???s a very important player for us and you saw that tonight,??? he said.

???You???ve seen the energy in his legs and his influence in the game ??? especially as it wore on. It was an outstanding performance from Steven and an excellent goal.

???He???s not 24 anymore. For me, it???s about mapping out the rest of the season for him and the amount of games to play. You have to do that with players at this stage of their career.

???It???s what you have to do as a manager ??? plan forwards. At this stage of his career it???s about the level of the game he plays.???

Rodgers joked: ???He and I obviously speak every day but I think we had to speak yesterday to make sure we hadn???t fallen out with each other.”