Gerrard comeback a 'treat' for new boys
Kenny Dalglish believes training every day with a fully-fit Steven Gerrard will be the sort of "treat" that vindicates the decisions of the players who moved to Anfield as part of his £55m summer revamp.
Gerrard was elated to return to first-team action for the first time in six months in Wednesday's Carling Cup victory against Brighton, saying it was "fantastic to be out there in that kit again".
And Dalglish believes the captain's return to fitness is a fillip to the rest of his squad.
"The thing with Steven is that if he is around the football club and in the squad, fit and available, it does not half strengthen the squad," said Dalglish.
"For the players who have come in this summer, they have not really seen him train or play. They have got a bit of treat to look forward to.
"It's been a disappointing time for him with injuries, and we don't want to ruin this opportunity after he has done so well. We will continue to be as diligent as we have been."
The Scot's only concern is that England are as considerate of Gerrard's long-term health as his club have been, and the Liverpool manager would evidently prefer Fabio Capello to omit the 31-year-old when he names his squad to face Montenegro next month.
"I don't pick England's team," he said. "Whatever they have to do, they have to do. But I just hope that they will be as intelligent as we have been."
Gerrard, for one, will be determined not to risk a repeat of a six-month spell he described as a "nightmare", in which he has undergone two operations on his groin and spent a further spell in hospital on a course of antibiotics after contracting an infection.
"It's been a nightmare for me," said Gerrard. "I'm not the best when I'm out injured and watching games.
"It's been tough and the last six months have been a rollercoaster, but it's behind me now and I'm looking forward to getting match fit and getting back in the starting line-up." (© Daily Telegraph, London)