Kenny Dalglish has cautioned Liverpool supporters from expecting too much from Steven Gerrard, who is available to start on Friday against Newcastle.

The 31-year-old Liverpool captain is likely to feature in tonight's match at Anfield, after he played the final 20 minutes in Monday's 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

However, Dalglish warned that Liverpool must not bank on Gerrard to propel the club closer to the top-four finish they crave, and admitted the rest of the squad had to improve their shots-to-goal ratio if they are to achieve that aim.

"We could do with a few more goals, and Steven may be able to help us with that," Dalglish said. "He's got goals in him, as well as charisma, presence and everything else. But every player in the [Liverpool] side is capable of scoring goals; we can't just put it all on Steven's shoulders.

"If we are going to be a one-man band we've no chance. Every single one of us is going to have to score a few more goals. There's no magic formula."

As Dalglish approaches the first anniversary of his Liverpool return, the obvious area of concern is the club's dismal goal tally.

After spending over £50m on Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez last January, Liverpool have managed to score just 21 goals in 18 Premier League games this season; less than half the number of the two Manchester clubs whom the Reds trail by 14 points.

Liverpool's cause has not been aided by Gerrard's enforced absence. The talismanic midfielder has missed the last two months with an ankle infection, an injury he picked up on his return from a six-month layoff following a groin operation.

Dalglish acknowledged the midfielder's return "will help" but pointed out he expects others to contribute more goals, with Luis Suarez - Liverpool's top-scorer with five -suspended for Friday's game.

"I don't think at the goal scoring end we have been prolific at any time [in 2011]," Dalglish said. "But we will get there. We have said enough about it. There's nothing original I can come up with anyway. There is no magic formula."

Gerrard came through the Boxing Day clash with Blackburn unscathed but Dalglish revealed the England international still has a long way to go before he is back to full fitness.

"He looks unbelievably fit at the moment," Dalglish said. "I think he feels the bad luck might all be behind him now. He just needs game time but we won't be irresponsible. We'll just take it as diligently and professionally as we always do. There's no need to throw him straight in.

"He's not ready to last 90 minutes yet, and he's experienced enough to recognise that. There's no panic. We'd rather have him for the rest of the season than just a couple of games right away."

The Liverpool manager added: "It's great to have him playing again, but he's never really been away from the club.

"He's always in and around the club and the training ground anyway, just like Jamie Carragher. It's a bit like having three captains at the moment [Pepe Reina has assumed responsibility in the absence of Carragher and Gerrard], and that can only make us stronger.

"There's no doubt that Steven has made a massive contribution to the success of this football club, and he's managed to do it in a lot of the games that really meant something, but you don't actually know how the season would have gone had he been playing. It might have been different, it might not.

Liverpool have lost only one game in which Gerrard has played since Dalglish's return in January - an FA Cup tie against Manchester United during which he was sent off. The Reds' manager said the club would be cautious about using him during the season run-in but praised the progress made since he took over 12 months ago.

"Our target for the New Year is to build on the work that's already been done," he added. "When you consider how far we have come since August, we are pretty pleased. I'm delighted to be back here, I was fortunate to be asked.

"I'm happy and I am working with great people. We could be higher in the table but apart from the one at Manchester City every manager in the Premier League would say the same thing."