ESPN FC: Suarez returns
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez will take time to return to peak form after making his comeback from suspension in the 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday.
Suarez rattled the crossbar with a second-half free-kick as he played the full match on his return, with Rodgers suggesting the Uruguayan will now be in contention to play a part in Sunday's Premier League game at Sunderland.
"I thought he was excellent," Rodgers said. "He tired a wee bit towards the end, but he went close with the free-kicks and I thought he did really well considering the time he has been out.
"It is only natural that he will take some time (to get back to his best). That adrenalin got him over the line in his first game back and maybe he will feel it in the next few days. He is a fighter, his determination is so high and he will recover for the weekend. We are delighted to have him back."
Rodgers was clearly frustrated by defensive errors that led to Javier Hernandez's winning goal, but he was pleased with the way his side adapted to a new 3-5-2 formation that featured three central defenders.
"We only had a few days to prepare for a change of system and I thought the players worked it really well," he added. "We created some opportunities, but couldn't make the final pass count. We got into some really good areas, but didn't quite work the keeper enough.
"It was a very close game, decided on a corner right at the beginning of the second half. We are very disappointed with their goal to say the least. It was very small margins and we have lost it on a really loose goal. Now we have to concentrate on our league games.
On Suarez making his comeback away against Manchester United, Rodgers added: "He is one of the most determined people I have met in my life, he is very thick skinned and he will go and play anywhere. When you have been out for so long, he was never going to be fazed by it."
Meanwhile, United manager David Moyes admitted his side were in need of a win against Liverpool after a stuttering start to the season, as he suggested some of the players who have not been at the forefront of his plans in the first few weeks of the season may have pushed their claims for a starting spot after strong displays against the Reds.
"We lost at Anfield a few weeks ago, we lost on Sunday and the Etihad, so we had to bounce back and get some good results," stated Moyes. "I thought it was a really good game. Both teams went for it.
"Liverpool had a few chances and so did we and both games we have played [against them] have been very similar in many ways. Both were very tight, both decided by set pieces.
"I also had a chance to see a lot of different players playing, who have maybe not played as much as they would like. It has given me some food for thought because I thought their performances were very good."
"I thought he was excellent. He ran himself into the ground and he was always a threat, and put defenders on the back foot with a few turns. As he goes on he will get sharper but I was really pleased with him, he was brilliant. He’s worked very hard."
On making his comeback away against Manchester United:
"He is one of the most determined people I have met in my life, he is very thick skinned and he will go and play anywhere. When you have been out for so long, he was never going to be fazed by it."