Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard was thrilled to end his injury nightmare with a cameo appearance against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carling Cup Third Round last night.
The Reds secured their passage with goals from Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt, and despite Ashley Barnes' late penalty, the headlines belonged to Gerrard and the visitors, as the club go about attempting to win the competition for a record eighth time.
After featuring for 15 minutes at the Amex Stadium, Gerrard lamented his spell on the sidelines.
“It was good to be back with the lads,” Gerrard said.
“I’d been out a a long time and it was fantastic to be out there in that kit again. It was nice to get a win as well.
“It’s been a nightmare for me. 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.”
Gerrard has won the League Cup twice with Liverpool, in 2001 and 2003, and with the club not in Europe this season, the competition has become something of a priority for the club.
“We haven’t been to a major cup final for a long time," Gerrard added. "We have to take every cup seriously and when there’s no Europe that makes it easier to put strong sides out.
“Kenny has assembled a fantastic squad now with a couple of good players in each position. Even when he mixes it around or rests people we still put a strong side out like tonight.”