Liverpool forward Danny Ings has admitted mixed feelings on his first-team return after almost a year out of the side.
The Englishman spent 11 months away from the squad following a horrific knee injury, but was thrust back into the squad and came off the bench during the Reds' 2-0 Carabao Cup loss to Leicester this week.
Despite the upset, Ings is happy to be back in the thick of things.
“It was mixed emotions really,” the forward told the club's official website. “You want to get the win and you want it to be the perfect night, getting minutes after the long road to recovery, but it wasn’t our night in the end.
“But on a personal note, it’s great to be back part of it, being around the lads and getting used to travelling away. It was good to be back and hopefully I can build on that.”
Ings went on to say that it was great working with the club's youngsters to get back fit, but it still pales in comparison where the first team is concerned.
“Being with the Under-23s is great for me because after such a long time out it’s the perfect platform to build your fitness up in and get used to your surroundings on the pitch,” he added.
“Critch and all the staff and players down there have been great in helping me try to get to my best again.
“It’s a different scenario when you’re playing first-team football – the stadium’s full, you’ve got the atmosphere, you’ve got the adrenaline going through your body. To get that feeling back was probably the biggest thing for me because it’s what I’ve been craving for such a long time.
“Even though it was such a short spell on the pitch and we didn’t get the result, it was a positive in the steps I’m taking on a personal level.”