Steven Gerrard has the revealed the “tough” schooling on the streets of Huyton, that prepared him for the hard knocks of an old-firm title fight.
The Rangers boss is not lacking in passion and commitment, saying that his players must be “all in” for him and the team, as he drives his team towards his first title in Scotland.
And he insisted the preparation for such an intense duel with Celtic was forged on the streets where he grew up in a neighbourhood of Liverpool : “I think the area where I grew up certainly helped me to prepare, for what I would eventually get to,” he said.
“There’s were lots and lots of tough kids on the council estate, who wanted to play football every single day and were game for the competitive side of it.
“I’ve got an older brother, 2 and a half years older, who was very competitive as well, and pushed me around a bit, let’s say. Liked to get the better of me, for many, many, years growing up. So I think that upbringing helped me get to the top for sure. 100%.”
Gerrard also had some tough knocks at Liverpool, the worst of course being that infamous slip back in 2014 against Chelsea – as Liverpool cruelly missed out on the title – which he admits still lives with him today…but which drives him on in his new job as a manager.
“It was a real, brutal, cruel, low in my life, in 2014, the Chelsea episode, which still lives with me today. I don’t know whether it gave me extra determination or something,” though he explained on the High Performance Podcast with Jake Humphrey and Prof Damien Hughes.
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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“From my experience, I think sometimes failure helps you to become better. I still think now part of me is chasing more highs, and I want to work hard for them highs, because I still think more of the lows.
“Sometimes, a low, or a bad time or a disappointment, can be the catalyst, and the trigger to something really, really, amazing. So now, when you’re representing Rangers, you know what it means, and .I do see opportunities to have more highs, and buzzes, and adrenaline rushes. I want to go and achieve.”
The High Performance Podcast with Jake Humphrey and Prof Damian Hughes is available every Monday on all podcast providers.
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