Steven Gerrard was Liverpool’s hero in their 3-1 win at Leicester but declined to be drawn on whether he will sign a new contract to secure his Anfield future.
The captain scored in the 54th minute to put his team ahead after Adam Lallana had levelled a Simon Mignolet own-goal following a Leonardo Ulloa strike. Jordan Henderson scored late on to secure three points.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed earlier this week that a new deal is on the table for the 34-year-old Gerrard.
“I’ll decide when I’m ready,” Gerrard told BT Sport when asked about the negotiations. “There’s nothing to say on the contract at the moment. When there is – the fans have known me long enough – I’ll come out and I’ll say what I need to say.”
Victory at the Kingpower Stadium continued an improvement in form for Rodgers’ team following Saturday’s 1-0 win against Stoke.
“Over the last three performances we’ve been superb and we need to keep trying to improve on that,” said Gerrard, including last week’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Ludogorets.
“The reason I don’t want to answer your questions [on my contract] tonight is because it’s not about me, it’s about the performance and a great three points, and that’s what the headline should be.”
Rodgers hailed his captain’s performance against Leicester in his post-match news conference.
“You’ve seen the energy in his legs tonight and his influence on the game as it wore on. It was an outstanding performance from Steven and an excellent goal,” said Rodgers.
But Rodgers said he was “not sure” when asked about Gerrard’s contract.
He chose to direct attention to on-field matters, though he was careful to point out that his captain was comfortable with a rotation policy that saw him benched against Stoke.
“We spoke again yesterday to confirm we hadn’t fallen out with each other,” said Rodgers. “At this stage of his career it’s about the level of the game. He’s not 24 anymore – you have to do that with players for this time in their career. I have shown in my time at Liverpool that sentiment doesn’t come into it. It really doesn’t.”
Gerrard played in a more advanced position than he ended last season and began this one.
“How I set the team up last year, he was a playmaker behind the midfield. The reason for that was having three super-quick players up front,” said Rodgers in reference to Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, whose recent improvement continued with his setting up Henderson’s goal.
“[Gerrard} wasn’t a defensive midfielder, he was a playmaker. We looked at that again this year and we don’t have the same type of game. He can still have a great influence and we have to pick him in a different position. He looked fresh in his running tonight and has a natural instinct to get forward.
“What’s important for me is the spirit,” Rodgers said. “Ludogorets was a good performance and the weekend was good though it was a tight game. We’ve changed it around and looked at the mentality of the team going into the games.
“This is a tough place to come,” Rodgers said of Leicester, who stayed bottom of the league after defeat. “They’ve only lost once here this season. We go behind in the game and show the resolve to come back into it. The momentum is very important. It’s small steps but we’ll get to where we want to get to.”