By 90Min
December 26, 2017

Steven Gerrard has revealed the major difference between being a footballer and a coach as he continues to learn his trade.

The Liverpool legend exclusively spoke the Guardian in a wide ranging interview, and opened up about his first venture into coaching.

Gerrard, who was installed as the Reds' Under-18s head coach in April 2017, knows first hand about taking to the pitch thanks to more than 500 appearances for Liverpool, but he explained just how different it was to be the man in charge.

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He admitted: “As a player I could switch off when the game was done. That is very difficult as a coach. That has been the main difference. 

"Now after a game I’m thinking what went well, what didn’t go well, what individuals do I need to work on this week, who do I need to praise, who do I need to speak to, who’s been naughty at school? 

"Having to handle that side of it has been very different for me, not that I was an angel at school, but we have a guy here, Phil Roscoe, who works on the education and welfare side of things and he is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I would be lost if I didn’t have Phil’s help and support. The staff have been a huge help.

“There is a lot more to it than you think when you’re a player. I have more respect for coaches and managers now even though as a player I always respected the ones I worked with. I didn’t realise how much was involved in their roles until I tried it myself.”

Gerrard broke through the youth ranks at Anfield in the late 1990s, but he stated his belief that it is harder for the club's youngsters to be handed chances in the first team now due to the wealth of some clubs in Europe.

He continued: “Clubs are a lot richer so can go out and buy players for big money. Ten or 15 years ago you could get through if you were a decent footballer. Now you’ve got to be sensational to get in and stay in. 

"I look at the players on the fringes like Brewster, [Manchester City’s Phil] Foden and [Dominic] Solanke. They are good but can they go to the next level so that when they get in, they stay in? The standards are higher than they were all those years back.”

The former captain also went on to reveal what advice manager Jurgen Klopp had offered him as he moved into the dug out earlier this year.

Gerrard said: "Jürgen’s advice when I came back was: ‘I only want you to shadow for a short time because you need to have a couple of years of making mistakes, of picking your own team, of deciding tactics.

"You need to find your philosophy, a way of playing, you need to deal with individual problems, you need to praise individuals, help individuals, you need to feel disappointment and setbacks and then after a couple of years you’ll know if this gig is for you.’ He painted a real picture of how it is."

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