Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers welcomes Luis Suarez return

Rodgers rues 'off day' for Liverpool

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers felt the blow of losing at home to Southampton was eased by the imminent return of striker Luis Suarez from suspension.

The Uruguay international has now completed a for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

"I think that's a positive from today; the fact that he is back now and he's available from next week," said Rodgers after his side's at Anfield.

"He just needs to get games to bring him right up to full speed."

Suarez is available for Wednesday's League Cup third-round meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old was away from Liverpool over the summer, but the club refused to sell and his comeback provides Rodgers with a welcome attacking option.

"I think he's in a good condition and he's been playing games, both behind closed doors and ones organised for him," said the Reds boss. "He's been doing a lot of specific work with the conditioning teams.

"He's obviously not going to be 100%, when you come into these sorts of cup games and these games that are at a greater intensity. But he's a worker and he's a fighter and his condition is good. He's in a good place."

Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season was ended by Southampton thanks to Dejan Lovren's second-half header, but the Reds are only second in the table behind Chelsea by virtue of goal difference.

"I can't underestimate how well the players have done," said Rodgers. "This is our first defeat since March, when we lost against Southampton. So we've had two poor performances against them and it's cost us.

"In that period the players have been brilliant. Today was one of those days when we were right off it.

"Sometimes in these games it's players like him [Suarez], who can make the difference. It's going to be great to have him back."