Andy Carroll relishing Gerrard link-up
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll believes Steven Gerrard's return could be of great benefit to him as he bids to start repaying his transfer fee.
Injuries to both players in the 12 months since Carroll completed his club-record £35million move from Newcastle has contributed to the 23-year-old's difficult start to his Anfield career.
Incredibly, the two England internationals have been on the pitch together just nine times in the last year and have started in the same team just once - last week's Carling Cup semi-final first leg win at Manchester City.
Carroll arrived at Anfield with a thigh injury and when he finally made his debut it was as a substitute in Gerrard's last match before groin surgery ruled him out until the following September.
The captain's return was brief before an ankle infection sidelined him for a further two months but in the short time the 31-year-old has been back since Boxing Day, particularly in the home win against Carroll's former club, he has given the striker renewed optimism.
"We haven't had the chance to start many games together," said Carroll, who is under more pressure to add to his tally of six goals in 33 appearances with Luis Suarez halfway through his eight-match ban.
"I think I may have been a sub when he's started or he has been a sub when I have so it's nice to see him back.
"When you're on the same team as him in training, some of the passes he puts through for you and the chances he creates are incredible really.
"So hopefully I can keep working hard, get a nice run of games, give some good performances and get a few goals.
"If I can get a good run, hopefully that can kick-start me on again."
Carroll believes a fully-fit Gerrard will give the whole club a lift and he has already made a difference in the six matches he has played.
"You can see at Melwood that as soon as he comes out on the training pitch he's just different class," he told LFC Magazine.
"I think just him being there gives everyone else another lift and another boost.
"He's already scored three goals so you can see straight away the difference that he makes and the impact he has."