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Gerrard due back in training after assault charge

 Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard celebrates his goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, N...
  This is a  Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 file photo of   Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard, right, as he  goes on to score past Newcastle United's Fabricio...
 Alex Curran, left, arrives home with her husband, soccer player Steven Gerrard, right, and unidentified woman in rear, at their home in Liverpool, En...

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Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard celebrates his goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, N...

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This is a Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 file photo of Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard, right, as he goes on to score past Newcastle United's Fabricio...

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Alex Curran, left, arrives home with her husband, soccer player Steven Gerrard, right, and unidentified woman in rear, at their home in Liverpool, En...

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was due back at training Wednesday after being charged over an alleged assault at a bar _ reassured at being given manager Rafa Benitez's total support.
The England international, hailed as one of the world's best midfielders, was charged Tuesday alongside two friends following a brawl in the seaside resort of Southport in Merseyside.
The whole squad had been given two days off following Sunday's impressive 5-1 win at Newcastle.
If convicted of assault and affray, Gerrard faces a maximum five-year prison sentence.
But Benitez, who is still recovering from surgery to remove kidney stones two weeks ago, is adamant that his talismanic player will remain a vital part of the club's push for a first English league title since 1990.
"Steven has been an outstanding servant to Liverpool for the last 10 years and the club will give him all the support he needs at this time," Liverpool said in a statement.
The 28-year-old Gerrard will be in contention for Saturday's FA Cup match at Preston after being released on bail to appear in court on Jan. 23.
Former Reds striker Kenny Dalglish, who was manager during the last league triumph in 1990, believes that Gerrard will not be distracted on the pitch by his legal plight.
"The Liverpool fans will support him tremendously well," Dalglish said. "He's a really strong character and I'm sure it won't affect his performance.
"At the end of the day, he will wish, like everybody else, it had never happened, but it has happened. He'll deal with it superbly well and he'll get fantastic support from everyone round about him."
The Football Association said Gerrard remains eligible to make his 71st England appearance in the Feb. 11 friendly against Spain in Seville.
In the altercation at the Lounge Inn, the bar's 34-year-old disc jockey, Marcus McGee, lost a tooth and was cut on his forehead. He was hospitalized before being released.
John Doran, 29, and Ian Smith, 19, who are Gerrard's friends from the Huyton area of Liverpool where Gerrard grew up, were charged with the same offenses by Merseyside Police.
Gerrard had been celebrating Sunday's victory over Newcastle in which he scored twice as Liverpool went three points clear atop the Premier League.
Benitez sees Gerrard as the key ingredient in bringing trophies to Anfield.
"He is still young, 28 for a player is the best age and I think that he will not lose his power and he will not lose his quality," Benitez said earlier this season. "He is now one of the big names of world football and 10 years in the same club and scoring (109) goals for a midfielder is amazing."
And he has found the net this season to clinch wins over Marseille (twice), Portsmouth and Middlesbrough, and salvage draws against Atletico Madrid and Hull.
Gerrard's standing in world football was reinforced in October when fellow international professionals named him in FIFPro's team-of-the-year lineup.
Gerrard has acknowledged that the plaudits have intensified the scrutiny.
"Everywhere I go, whether on holiday or around Europe with Liverpool, everyone is talking about the games in such detail," he has said. "The interest blows me away at times. I'll admit it is really flattering, and I have to pinch myself and have a good think of where I am.
"But the people I have around me, like my family, keep me humble, they keep my feet on the ground."


Updated : 2021-05-09 16:50 GMT+08:00