Gerrard focused on Cup – Benitez

Gerrard is expected to start against Everton on SundayLiverpool boss Rafael Benitez is sure Steven Gerrard will put his court appearance out of his mind and focus on facing Everton in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Gerrard, 28, appeared at North Sefton Magistrates Court on Friday to answer charges of assault and affray relating to an incident in a bar in December.

He was driven straight to training afterwards where he resumed preparation for the fourth-round tie at Anfield.

“Steven is in the right frame of mind. He is fine,” said Benitez.

“He showed the other week [when the incident was first made public] that he has a responsibility to the fans and the club.

“He is a very good professional and showed he can concentrate on the job and he knows he has our full support.”

Gerrard has continued to play for Liverpool since the incident at the Lounge Inn in Southport, Merseyside where he was one of six men arrested and later charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.

The Liverpool captain scored his side’s goal in their 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton on Monday.

Benitez has more than just Gerrard’s mental strength to concern him prior to Sunday’s derby.

The build-up to the game has been overshadowed by reports of another prospective take-over of the club, this time from the super-rich Al Kharafi family from Kuwait.

Benitez claimed ignorance of the situation and dismissed the potential destabilising effect this could have on his side.

“I knew nothing of this and I was surprised to see what is being said,” he insisted. “I would prefer to train the team and concentrate on the game with Everton.

“We know things can happen around [the club]. But at the end we have to come to work, to train and to be ready for the next game.

“It will be difficult against Everton, so we must focus on only what happens on the pitch.”