Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva has made 21 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool this season.Reuters

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Lucas Leiva stating that the midfielder has shown positive attitude despite not obtaining a starting role in recent matches.

The 27-year-old had regularly featured in the Reds' starting XI for most of the Premier League campaign this season making 19 appearances, which included 17 starts till January.

However, a knee injury against Aston Villa had sidelined him out for eight weeks. During his absence, Rodgers changed tactics while opting to deploy Steven Gerrard in the defensive midfield role.

Despite returning from injury last month, Lucas has found his first team opportunities restricted; making only two substitute appearances in the last four league matches. However, the Northern Irishman insists that the Brazilian has expressed his commitment towards the team by showing the desire to step up when called upon.

"I've got to say Lucas has been absolutely incredible in his attitude, It's been hard for him because he played a high percentage of the games when he was fit and obviously then got his injury. The team has done really well in his absence," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"Steven in that role is a world class operator. He has taken to it really well. The difference now is that rather than playing with two defensive midfield players we are playing with one. There is more emphasis on the attacking element.

"But I have to pay homage to Lucas because he's been first class with his attitude and his work. He has made it known to me that he just wants to help whenever he's called upon - whether it's for one minute or 90 minutes he will be ready," the Liverpool manager added.

Rodgers also believes the lack of starts in recent matches will not have a negative impact on Lucas' World Cup prospects with Brazil, given that he has performed well in the past for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side.

Lucas was part of the Brazil squad during the international friendly fixtures in October and November last year, making three substitute appearances and started one match.

"Hopefully it won't hinge on that because I think he's already done enough to get in the squad for the World Cup. For those games he has gone away with them, I am sure they will have been impressed with him. For a World Cup, he will be great for their squad," Rodgers concluded.