Steven Gerrard: Brendan Rodgers brave to play Liverpool youngsters

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Steven Gerrard says times are tough for young players

Steven Gerrard has praised Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for giving young players the chance to shine.

The Reds skipper says the number of foreigners in the English game makes it hard for youngsters to break through.

But he says Rodgers has been "brave" for playing midfielder Raheem Sterling and defender Andre Wisdom.

"Managers are only ever eight to 10 games away from the sack, so to take risks on unknown young players is difficult," Gerrard told BBC Breakfast.

"There's no two ways about it, it's a lot more difficult to break through nowadays because of the standard of players and because there is a lot more foreigners about."

New Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has expressed similar concerns about the lack of opportunities for young British players.

He intends to set up a commission to look into the issue of falling numbers of Englishmen in the top flight.

But Gerrard, 33, says Liverpool are doing what they can to bring youngsters through, with 20-year-old defender Wisdom, and 18-year-old winger Sterling, who was signed from QPR in 2010, getting first-team opportunities after coming through the club's youth system.

"Brendan Rodgers has been fantastic at this club because he's been brave and he's given young players a chance," said Gerrard, who is himself an academy graduate.

Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League table, two points adrift of Arsenal, after winning four of their opening six matches.

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