Kenny Dalglish believes that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is fitter than he has been for years, but needs time to regain top form, The
Gerrard made his first appearance since October as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Anfield with Blackburn on Boxing Day. The England international had groin surgery in March which ended last season for him and then Gerrard suffered an ankle infection. Dalglish insists that the 31 year old is still at a good level of fitness, but needs playing time to regain the inspirational form he has shown for the Reds season after season.
The Liverpool boss said: ‘It is fantastic that he has got back and he looks a lot stronger now and is a lot fitter now than he was in years gone by. But obviously, he needs time on the pitch and we have to try to accommodate that. With his first touch, he created a chance for Maxi Rodriguez with a header and he knocked it wide – that would have been a fantastic start. It is great to see him back fit and well and available for consideration again’.
Liverpool have now drawn six games at home this season and have to improve their home form if they want to reach the Champions League places. Gerrard’s return could prove pivotal for the Reds, but if they lose their appeal on Luis Suarez’s ban for racism, the Reds squad will suffer another serious blow. Suarez is currently banned for eight games, but if the Reds lose the appeal, the FA have confirmed they will place more games on top of the current ban.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Liverpool v Newcastle