By Dominic King
Luis Suarez has pledged his commitment to Liverpool after returning to action following a 10-game ban with a performance Brendan Rodgers believes augurs well for the future.
The Uruguay forward looked sharp during what was his first outing for Liverpool in 157 days but he was powerless to prevent his side tumbling out of the Capital One Cup, as they lost 1-0 to Manchester United.
Suarez almost forced extra-time with a free-kick in the second half that clipped the crossbar and he admitted to having mixed emotions, as though the 26-year-old was pleased to start playing again, he accepted the defeat is a major blow to Liverpool's season.
VIDEO Scroll down to watch Brendan Rodgers: Luis Suarez was excellent
Menacing: Suarez had plenty of opportunities to run at United's defence throughout the game
Out: Rodgers was disappointed with the result, but thought Suarez's work rate was excellent
Luis Suarez 6/5 to score against Sunderland on Saturday
But after a summer in which his future was the subject of intense speculation, Suarez has promised he will give his all to help Liverpool achieve their prime objective, which is to launch a successful push for a top four spot.
'The result is not good because we lost but the feeling is good because we played very well, we created chances and we missed,' Suarez, who played the full 90 minutes at Old Trafford, told Liverpool's official website.
'I know it was a difficult moment but for myself and for the team it's very important I'm back because I can help the team and [being] off the pitch I can't. We'll keep going for the week and for the next game.
'All the time I try my best on the pitch. I'm here to help the team and help Liverpool and I'll try my best.'
Rodgers was delighted with Suarez's performance, saying: 'I thought he was excellent. He ran himself into the ground and he was always a threat, put defenders on the back foot with a few turns. As he goes on he will get sharper but I was really pleased with him, he was brilliant.
Assist: Hernandez scored from Rooney's corner just after half-time
Stuck in: Suarez caused numerous problems for United in the first half hour
'He is one of the most determined people I have met in my life, he is very thick skinned and he will go and play anywhere. When you have been out for so long, he was never going to be fazed by it.
'He's worked very hard. He obviously tired a wee bit but even in the last moments he can still create for you and distract defenders and open up the space. The fans were brilliant to him. The support they have given him is unheralded.
'This is such a unique club where they support the players who wear the shirt and they were brilliant towards him. He recognises everything they have given him.'
If Rodgers found positives in Suarez's play, he was furious with the goal they conceded to Javier Hernandez.
Back in action: Man United's Wayne Rooney and Liverpool's Luis Suarez shake hands before the game
It was the second time in the space of four days they have carelessly shipped a goal from a corner, following the weekend loss to Southampton at Anfield.
Jose Enrique was responsible for the error, allowing Hernandez to run away from him, and Rodgers was clearly vexed by the Spanish full-back's lack of application.
'It's disappointing,' he acknowledged. 'It's an individual thing, not collective. You see a corner coming in, no one was free and then Chicharito gets free far too easily. As an individual, you have got to be stronger mentally and have a greater desire not to lose your marker.'