LIVERPOOL defender Jon Flanagan believes no one deserves a league title more than captain Steven Gerrard.
After Sunday’s significant 3-2 win over Manchester City, the clearly emotional Reds captain was at the centre of a team huddle dishing out words of advice to his teammates.
Gerrard, who is more desperate than most to claim a championship winners’ medal as it is the only honour missing from his trophy cabinet, effectively told the players they had to forget the result and turn their focus to struggling Norwich at Carrow Road next weekend.
The England skipper is more than just a leader, he is an institution at the club, and his determination to see through the job of ending a 24- year wait for a title in their final four games has been imprinted on his team-mates.
‘‘It is phenomenal. He has carried this club for years and he deserves this,’’ said young defender Flanagan.
‘‘I think all the lads are doing it for themselves but for Stevie as well.’’ Liverpool produced their trademark fast start at home and were 2-0 up inside 26 minutes, courtesy of Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel.
Although they were pegged back after the break through David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal, Philippe Coutinho struck the winner.
While no one at Anfield is getting ahead of themselves, Flanagan believes the performance and result against City, now seven points behind them at the sharp end of the table, has proved they have the nerve to successfully negotiate the final month of the season.
‘‘They are a great side and we have sent a message out – it was a great performance and a great three points,’’ he added. ‘‘There are always nerves going into such a big game in the title race but as soon as the game is on you focus on that.
‘‘We knew they were going to come out strongly in the second half and there was a bit of sloppy defending for their two goals, but we still showed our spirit and finally got the third goal.
‘‘All the fans believe we can do it and we said in the huddle we’ll go again next week as we’ve done nothing yet and that result has gone now.
‘‘We have to stay focused and go again at Norwich away, we have to keep going right until the end.’’