BOSS Eddie Howe insisted “no one would be happier” to see Liverpool's Danny Ings return to scoring form – provided the former Cherries frontman did not come back to haunt him at Anfield tomorrow (5.30pm).

Having come through the youth ranks at Dean Court, Ings earned his first pro contract in 2010, blossoming under Howe before reuniting with him at Burnley in a £1million move in August 2011.

While Howe returned from Turf Moor to steer the Dorset club to the Premier League, Ings continued his rapid rise when he joined the Reds in 2015.

Injury troubles have plagued the England international during his time on Merseyside, with three goals coming from 21 senior appearances. His last goal came in October 2015 during a 1-1 derby draw at Everton.

Howe said: “Of course, after this game I hope Danny does really well and no one would be happier than us.

“He was a great lad. Someone who I instantly liked and came from humble beginnings with a tough journey through the youth team.

“He suffered a serious abdominal injury where he couldn’t play for around a year. I think when you are 17 and you are trying to make your way in the game, that is a real blow.

“What I loved about Danny was mentally he was really strong through that period and when he came back, he never looked back from that moment.

“His performances earned him every step forward he got in his career. We are very proud of him to go through the youth set-up here and go on to play for Liverpool, I think that is a great journey for our young players.

“He has not had it easy, he has had to do it the hard way and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Ings started against the Toffees in the Premier League last Saturday before coming off the bench against Manchester City to help Jurgen Klopp’s men reach the Champions’ League semi-final.

Quizzed on the call to reward the striker with a pro contract as a teenager, Howe replied: “At the time when every professional you had in your squad had to be good enough to play where money was so tight, it was a bit of a gamble.

“It proved to be the right decision, within the first few weeks of seeing him come back and play he was excellent. I loved working with him from minute one.

“He was always asking questions and trying to find a new way to do things. When you work with someone who has that will to improve and achieve, as a coach, your job is easy.

“I think it’s a sense of pride for the club here and the people who worked with him in his younger years. It’s really rewarding and a satisfying process because you know you played a part in his development, the club is very proud of that."