Kolo Toure pleased with striker's return and Liverpool FC's opening day win
Kolo Toure says Luis Suarez has been welcomed back into the Liverpool squad with open arms.
The striker’s exile was ended by Brendan Rodgers last Friday – a week after he had been banished to train on his own after accusing his manager of breaking a promise to let him leave the club this summer.
Rodgers says the situation has now been resolved and Suarez was at Anfield to watch Saturday’s 1-0 win over Stoke City.
Toure, who has praised the club’s hardline stance in refusing to sell the Uruguayan, insists Suarez doesn’t have any making up to do with his team-mates for his conduct.
“It’s nothing for us players,” he said.
“We all know that football is big business. Luis Suarez was defending what he wanted, the club was defending what they wanted.
“The club know that by keeping him we are going to be really strong because he’s one of the best strikers in the world.
“I believe what the club did is right. We all wanted him to stay. You never want one of your best players leaving to go to another team.
“It’s no problem having Luis back. We love him. We all just wanted him to resolve his problem with the manager, come back and score our goals
“The manager is very clever and has sorted it out with him. We are all really happy that Luis is back training with us.”
In the absence of Suarez, who is suspended for a further five matches, there is plenty of responsibility on the shoulders of Daniel Sturridge, who shone against the Potters.
The £12million striker netted the only goal with an unstoppable 20-yarder just before the break and Toure was impressed.
“We need Suarez this season but we can’t rely on only one player,” he added.
“We are a group and if we want to achieve something then everyone will need to play their part.
“Daniel Sturridge for me is one of the best players I’m playing with. I see him in training every day.
“I knew him when he was at Chelsea but now I have more respect for him. I think he’s a great striker. He never gives up, he’s very fit and has been working so hard.
“It was only his second game since he came back from injury. Look at what he did, he showed his quality and I’m really happy for him.
“I’m very proud of my team-mate. It’s not easy to play like that.”
Toure also hailed the contribution of keeper Simon Mignolet, who saved Jonathan Walters’ late penalty and denied Kenwyne Jones from the follow up.
“It was an unbelievable double save,” he said.
“It was normal for Simon to be nervous early on. As a keeper you don’t touch the ball as much.
“You don’t need them many times in the game but when you do the best ones are there waiting. Simon showed that he’s a fantastic goalkeeper.
“We had some chances to kill the game and didn’t take them but we got the three points.
“We have been working so hard with the manager during pre-season. The spirit in the squad is very good and the mentality of all the players is great. We won as a team.
“It’s fantastic for all the supporters and the players for us to start like this. It will give everyone a big lift. This win will be important for the future of this football club.”