Steve set for emotional return to Anfield

STEVE NICOL completes his fairytale return to the top flight today - by turning out against his old Liverpool team-mates.

The 34-year-old's Premiership days looked to be over when he dropped down two divisions to become player-coach of Notts County.

But Sheffield Wednesday boss David Pleat snapped him up for a bargain pounds 50,000 earlier this season and gave him a new lease of life in a midfield anchor role.

The former Scottish international looks certain to return as Chris Waddle's midfield minder at Hillsborough today after shaking off a bout of flu.

And as he prepared for the challenge against title-chasing Liverpool he said: "Once I left Anfield last season, I never imagined I would ever again find myself on the same pitch as a Liverpool side.

"I simply can't wait and if I'm in the starting line-up it's going to be very special.

"Liverpool still pass the ball around as well as any team in the country and are dangerous in so many areas.

"Steve McManaman is a key player for them, but they are very much an 11-man team. If you give someone too much attention, someone else will do you."

Nicol reflected on a life-saving rescue over Christmas when he was dragged from a freezing lake after plunging through the ice. "I've been getting a bit of stick from the other lads about that," he smiled.

"But I'd rather be taking the flak than not be here at all!"

Copyright - John Edwards

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