Dalglish insists Gerrard looks the best he has for years as midfielder makes comeback
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes Steven Gerrard is fitter than he has been for years but insists the midfielder needs more time to regain top form.
The England international made his first appearance since October as a second-half substitute in the frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn on Boxing Day.
Gerrard, who had groin surgery in March which prematurely ended his campaign last season, almost had the perfect comeback as he arrived on the pitch to take a free-kick from which his side almost went in front.
Welcome back: Kenny Dalglish prepares to introduce Gerrard as a substitute
But Dalglish says it will take a little longer yet before Liverpool see the best of the 31-year-old again.
The Scot 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.
“Withhis 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.”
Havingfallen behind to Charlie Adam”s own goal on the stroke of half-time Liverpool had only Rodriguez”s close-range header to show for dominatingthe entire game.
Firing on all cylinders: Steven Gerrard made an impressive comeback at Anfield
The closest the Reds came to winning it came in the final 30 seconds as Andy Carroll, on his first start in four matches, was denied by Bunn”s brilliant save while Daniel Agger had a header cleared off the line with the final kick of the match from 17-year-old Adam Henley on his first senior start.
This was Liverpool”s sixth home draw in nine outings but Dalglish reckons his side need just a little more faith in themselves – and a slick of luck – to start turning these in victories.
“We will continue getting in there and making chances and play the way we are playing,” he added.
“Most of the things we do well and do right and if we get a bit of luck and a bit more belief in ourselves – with the goalkeeper coming and having a nightmare – that would be helpful to us.”