Steve Clarke believes Steven Gerrard is ready to use the international break as an opportunity to step up his return to full fitness.
The captain has made three substitute appearances since recovering from a groin problem, tallying just under an hour on the pitch in total.
Gerrard's latest step on the road to peak condition saw him play for 25 minutes in Saturday's Merseyside derby victory over Everton
And while Clarke insists Liverpool will continue to err on the side of caution with the fitness of the No.8, he believes the international recess is an ideal chance for the midfielder to make further progress in his comeback.
The first-team coach told Liverpoolfc.tv: "For Steven it's just a progression. He's coming back from a long-term injury and we'll try to treat him as cautiously and carefully as we can.
"Obviously there will be a time when he is going to have to push on - and I think this is the time now.
"We've only got a very small group of players left behind because we've got a lot of players away on international duty. There were only six players training on Wednesday, but we managed to get a lot of good work into them with such a small number.
"On Thursday we'll bring up the reserve-team squad to join in, which will give us more numbers.
"With Steven it has been well documented that we're looking after him. He's going to have to push himself in the coming weeks - and the more minutes we get into him, the better."
After six months on the sidelines, Clarke has revealed Gerrard worked within specially-designed programmes in his rehabilitation - and the Scot admits everyone has been impressed with manner in which he's handled them.
He said: "After you've been out for a long time, you struggle with the pace of the game and the size of the pitches, so we worked with him in small areas and then gradually started to make the areas bigger. Every step is important.
"He's handled the steps we've given him so far very well and we'll just look to push him on."
Gerrard was introduced into the action in the 67th minute at Goodison Park along with Craig Bellamy.
The pair played a key role in ensuring Liverpool claimed local bragging rights, with goals from Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez putting David Moyes's side to the sword following their arrival.
Clarke reflected: "When you make substitutions at that stage of the game, you expect them to come on and have an impact because they're coming on fresh - but that's not to take anything away from the players who had been on the pitch from the start.
"They had done the groundwork by staying patient, making the pitch as big possible and making Everton run around a bit, so when your substitutes come on they have an opportunity to make that impact."
Gerrard's appearance during the 2-0 victory at Goodison Park was one of a number of pleasing features on what was ultimately a satisfying Saturday afternoon for Liverpool.
Clarke was delighted with the manner in which the Reds handled the atmosphere across the other side of Stanley Park and retained their composure as they went in search of a goal after Everton had been reduced to 10 men midway through the first half.
"The most pleasing aspect of the performance for me was the temperament and patience of the players," said the coach.
"We didn't panic, we kept passing and moving the ball and we knew if we moved the ball well, and quickly, eventually we'd get some chances to score. That's the way it turned out."
He added: "It was a case of patience paying off for the players. You go into a game like that knowing it's going to be a red-hot atmosphere, and the conditions were tough for the players because it was really hot. We got a decision that went in our favour and I think we made the most of it.
"That's important because if you get a decision that goes in your favour, you have to cash in on it.
"It tells you where we are as a group. We went to Tottenham and had a very disappointing result there. We asked the players to learn from it, and I think they showed in the derby they have done that."
Another impressive performer in Red in the derby was Jose Enrique.
The Spaniard was the clear winner in a Man of the Match poll ran on this website following the game after he capped a fine display with an assist for Carroll's 71st minute opener.
Enrique has firmly established himself as a fan favourite at Anfield in his seven appearances so far for Liverpool - and it's a view shared within the Melwood backroom team.
Clarke revealed: "As an ex-full-back myself, I can appreciate the work he's doing for the team - both in attack and defence.
"I'm sure he'd be the first to admit he's got lots of things he can work on to improve, but from what we've seen so far from him he should be pleased with himself and the contribution he's made. We certainly are."
Enrique's assist against Everton was his second in as many games after he'd played a key role in helping Suarez find the back of the net against Wolverhampton Wanderers one week previously.
The 25-year-old last week revealed how he studied videos of the world's top-left-backs in order to enhance his own game - and Clarke is convinced he has the potential to improve even further.
He said: "It's (watching other left-backs) typical of his character. Since he came here, we've been impressed by the way he's gone about his business day-to-day in training, and I think that is when you get to know your players best - by working with them every day.
"He wants to improve. I know he is desperate to be part of the Spanish squad in future and if he continues the work he's doing, manages to improve and then I am sure he will make the squad, no problem."