STEVEN GERRARD helped Liverpool secure their place in the last 16 of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 win at Brighton and admitted: “It’s good to be back.”
The inspirational Reds skipper made his comeback as a second half substitute after six months out with a groin injury and came through unscathed.
“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.”
It was a successful night all round on the south coast with goals from Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt helping Kenny Dalglish’s men see off the Seagulls.
“I thought in the first half we were fantastic,” Gerrard (pictured) said.
“We could have had the game dead and buried – we could have been three or four goals up.
“But you always know in these cup ties that the opposition are going to have a spell of pressure and credit to Gus Poyet – he’s got a fantastic team here.
“They will probably feel hard done by in the end that they didn’t take us to extra time. That wouldn’t have been the end of the world as I would have got another 30 minutes!
“We’re glad to be in the draw for the next round and we’re looking forward to seeing who we get in the draw on Saturday.
“We haven’t been to a major cup final for a long time. 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.”
Gerrard paid tribute to Bellamy who produced a match-winning display on his first start since returning to Anfield on a free transfer from Manchester City.
“It was a fantastic performance from Craig,” he added.
“That’s why we signed him. We’re really pleased to have him here. The fans saw a taste tonight of what he’s going to offer us.”