Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed striker Luis Suarez has been playing in several matches behind closed doors in order to build up his fitness, as part of a programme to make sure he can make an immediate impact for the first team.
The Uruguayan is due to return from a 10 match ban in Liverpool’s Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, and Rodgers believes Suarez will be raring to go from the first whistle.
The Liverpool boss said: “The idea is that hopefully when he steps back in it will be seamless.
“Of course there will be a transitional period for him but I am really looking forward to having him back.
“He is working his socks off. At the end of sessions, he is having extra work tagged on relative to him and his position. He is flushing himself out to the maximum to be as fit as he possibly can. I am looking forward to it.”
New signing Tiago Ilori says he wants even more game time after his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt in the Under 21’s side’s 5-2 over Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Though the £7m signing from Sporting Lisbon is still building up his fitness after missing a lot of the pre-season in Portugal, and Ilori is keen to get as much playing time under his belt as possible before fighting for a first-team place.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “I want to get as many minutes as I can. I didn’t have a proper pre-season due to injuring my hand but it’s good to be back fit now. I’m enjoying it here. Brendan Rodgers seems like a great guy and great coach. I will do my best for the club.”
Elsewhere, Liverpool will be without Brazilian playmaker Phillipe Coutinho until the end of October because of a shoulder injury which he will have surgery on.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson has told the club’s website he’s still got to work hard after completing every minute of every Premier League games this season.
Henderson said: “It is obviously nice but I need to make sure that I’m working hard and make it hard for the manager to leave me out.”
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