Roy Hodgson hailed the performance of David Ngog after the Frenchman's double got the new Liverpool manager's reign off to a winning start.
Ngog, playing alone up front, struck in each half as an under-strength Liverpool emerged from a potentially tricky Europa League test against FK Rabotnicki in Macedonia with a 2-0 win.
Ngog's future has been uncertain since Hodgson took charge a month ago with reports linking the 21-year-old with a move to West Brom.
The player, however, has expressed a desire to remain at Anfield and Hodgson said: "I can't stop players being linked with other clubs. I certainly have never discussed him leaving.
"I think Ngog has done well in the pre-season matches so far and he has worked very hard in the training sessions. I was pleased that he crowned his performance with two goals.
"I thought his target play, his general movement and his ability to keep the ball for us was also very good. But front players need goals and that will be a very big weight off his mind. It will mean he doesn't have to worry too much about the coming matches."