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Steven Gerrard return critical to Liverpool’s success

Brendan Rodgers has hailed the return of captain Steven Gerrard from injury, saying his influence in the team is “critical”.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 1, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard returns from injury as he replaces Iago Aspas against Hull City during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gerrard came on as a second-half substitute for Liverpool in their 2-0 victory over Hull City on New Years Day.

It was the midfielder’s first action since limping off the pitch at Anfield with a hamstring injury during last month’s 4-1 win over West Ham.

“He’s worked tirelessly to get back having been out,” Rodgers told the club’s official website. “We just wanted to get him some minutes on the pitch.

“He wasn’t ready to start the game, but his influence back in the team gives us another player of real quality.

“Over the course of the next 10 days, he’ll get right up to speed and it’s great to have him back.”

Gerrard could start for Liverpool in this Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie with Oldham Athletic at home to help get him match-fit again for the second half of the Reds’ Premier League season.

Liverpool currently sit fifth in the Premier League after 20 games, six points off league leaders Arsenal.

However, out of teams in the top eight, Liverpool have only to travel to Manchester United in the remainder of the campaign.

Rodgers will also be hoping to bring in fresh faces to reinforce his first-team during the January transfer window.

He added, “We’ve just got to see what’s available. We know that we would like to strengthen the squad for the run in.

“So we just need to see what’s available and what that’s going to cost, basically. There’s no point in just stockpiling players for the sake of it. We need to bring in players of quality and hopefully we can do that.”

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