KD: We’ll be patient with Cole

The former Chelsea midfielder made his first appearance under

Dalglish, and his first in a red shirt since January 5, as a

substitute in last night’s goalless Europa League draw against

Sparta Prague. It was only the 29-year-old’s 19th game for the club

he joined in the summer as a result of suspension and, more lately,

hamstring and knee injuries. The game in the Czech capital was not

the easiest for him to make his comeback in but Dalglish said there

was plenty of time for the England international to rediscover his

best form. “We have got to be patient with Joe. That his first run

out since I came here,” said Dalglish, who took over from Roy

Hodgson on January 8. “That is a great start for him, to get

himself on the pitch and get an hour won’t do him any harm. “Joe is

a valuable asset for us. Obviously he is not going to pick his form

up immediately, if he does it will be a real bonus for us. “But we

are not going to put him under pressure and expect him to be the

Joe Cole who came to Liverpool in the summer. “We want to give him

a bit of time and make sure he gets there. Form is temporary, class

is permanent and that is where we stand with Joe. “We’ll give him a

bit of time to get up to speed and then we’ll judge him. “Joe needs

his injury rebuilding so we’ll get that right first, Cole came on

for Fabio Aurelio after he injured a groin seven minutes for

half-time. Dalglish said the problem was not serious and was

hopeful the Brazilian would recover quickly. The Reds boss was also

optimistic he would have both captain Steven Gerrard and defender

Daniel Agger back for next week’s second leg of their last-32 clash

against Sparta. “We’ll see when we go back. I don’t think he’ll

(Gerrard) be too long before he’s fit and I don’t think Daniel

Agger will be too much of a problem either,” added the 59-year-old.

“We left Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel out as well because young

Martin Kelly has been through an awful lot in the last seven games

and has been playing with a few bumps and bruises. “This gave him

the opportunity to refresh himself, and Martin Skrtel got injured

at Chelsea but carried on and we didn’t want to take a chance.”