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JOE Gomez insists he is ready to fight to make his long-awaited return to the Liverpool first team, after 13 months out with injury.

Injury has disrupted the 19-year-old’s time at Anfield, despite being thrown straight into first team action after signing from Charlton, due to successive injuries which have seen him out of action since October last year.

But Gomez made his playing return in a behind closed doors friendly against Accrington Stanley at Melwood recently and has opened up about his spell on the sidelines.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “It was a tough year for me, but it meant a lot to get my first minutes [back] on the pitch.

“It was a long time away from it. It meant a lot and it was a relief to get playing again. I dreamt of it for a long time, as you can imagine, so it was good.

“After a long-term injury, you’ve got to be careful with how far you push it. I’ve just got to be patient and build up my minutes, gradually taking my time getting back to full fitness. It’s all part of the journey.”

Gomez was injured on international duty with England’s Under-21 side just four days after Jürgen Klopp joined the club as manager.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 17, 2015: Liverpool's Joe Gomez in action against AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And the young defender is now out to impress his new boss, although he understands it will be a challenge given the way the team is currently playing — but it’s a challenge he is up for.

He added: “The way the team is playing, it is the sort of team you want to play for.

“It’s going to make it a challenge to get back in and around it. It’s a great team to play for and that’s what you aspire to do.”

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo

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