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'WE'RE OK WITHOUT STEVIE G'.

Byline: DAVID ANDERSON

KENNY DALGLISH claims Liverpool are now strong enough to cope with the loss of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

Before last summer, being without the pair would have been a huge blow for Liverpool as they have been the backbone of the team for 12 years.

But Dalglish spent heavily this year on Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Sebastian Coates and says the club can handle missing the talismanic duo.

"We would much rather have both of them available, but we can't walk about with self-pity," said the Reds boss.

"The response from the players has been fantastic and it was a great achievement for the boys to get a result at West Brom last Saturday without them. I think that's a reflection of how strong the squad is now compared to maybe how it was at the end of last season.

"Back then I don't think we'd have coped as well without Carra and Stevie. But the sooner they are back then the better we will be."

Gerrard, 31, has an ankle infection and is struggling to be fit for Liverpool's trip to Chelsea on November 20.

He has managed just two starts since March because of injury and illness. Carragher, 34 in January, is recovering from a calf strain.

Dalglish rejected any suggestion that his captain and vice-captain are becoming less important. "I don't think anybody can dispute the role they have played in forming part of the history of this football club," he said.

Dalglish insists Gerrard's infection is not too serious and Carragher could make tomorrow's clash with Swansea.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2011
Words:275
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