Boss shares secret to Stevie fitness

As Steven Gerrard prepares to captain Liverpool for the 400th time in all competitions on Monday, manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed how a specialised training programme is prolonging the skipper's career.

Before celebrating his 33rd birthday in May, the midfielder narrowly missed out on an ever-present Barclays Premier League campaign in 2012-13 - a season in which he also reached a century of caps for England.

Gerrard has featured in all four matches of the new campaign too - a positive result of the work implemented by Rodgers and his coaching staff at Melwood over the past year.

"You need to analyse the people and what age he is at and the body type he is," said the boss.

"One of the biggest things in our method of work is the recovery method. Stevie, for example, plays on the Saturday, recovers on the Sunday doing pulls, stretch and massage, on the Tuesday recovers further with maybe a light jog.

"It's a long load of low intensity recovery. Stevie was fit enough to play Saturday, Tuesday and Sunday at the start of this season.

"He has moderate to low intensity recovery programmes. We have individual plans for every player in terms of getting them through the games.

"It depends if you are a dogmatic coach and you think you always have to have the player out there. Given the culture we have created here, the players want to be out training every day.

"Sometimes with the recovery, they'll feel they want to do a bit more. But the numbers have shown since we have come here that the methodology of our work physically, technically and tactically helps them on game day.

"They have bought into that and it's something they enjoy. As a manager it's your job to orchestrate and oversee that, that's why when I came in here I needed to bring my own people in as they know exactly what I think in terms of the whole holistic approach to the players."

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