LIVERPOOL -- Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted that Luis Suarez should "never have been away" after making his return from suspension for the Merseyside club.
The Uruguay international has been out of action since Boxing Day after serving a one-match ban for a gesture made towards Fulham fans and an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
But Suarez returned to play 24 minutes in the 0-0 draw against Tottenham at Anfield on Monday night and the Reds manager is glad to have his player available again.
"He’s not played since December, I think it’s unfair to throw someone straight in," Dalglish told reporters. "He's had half an hour and that’ll do him the world of good, that’s better than anything we can do at Melwood [Liverpool's training ground]. Every time he gets hold of the ball you think he’s going to do something, we’re delighted to get him back, we don’t think he should ever have been away and we look forward to working with him."
Dalglish also admitted he was frustrated to only gain a point against Spurs but was happy with his side's display in the match.
“The performance was excellent, the result was disappointing to come away with just one point but you can’t criticise the players for the effort or quality of their performance," he said. “We’re happy with the performance and I think if we’d have got a goal we’d have won the match.”
The Scot, whose side now lies four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, is pleased with Liverpool's current situation and defended their attacking record.
“We’re in a better position than we were last year. We’ve got a cup final to look forward to, we’ve got the fifth round of the FA Cup to look forward to," he told Sky Sports. “Like everyone else we’d like to convert more chances but there’s not another team who have constructed as many chances as we have. And there’s not many teams who have lost as few goals as we have.”
Regarding the performance of striker Andy Carroll, Dalglish added, "We’ve got a big squad of players and every time we come in it’s always Andy first, isn’t it? I can’t get away with the obsession you have with Andy Carroll. He was very, very good tonight, we’re delighted for him."