Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish insists skipper Steven Gerrard can have a lasting impact on the club's future after scoring against Newcastle.
Gerrard came off the bench to seal a 3-1 win after Craig Bellamy scored twice in reply to Daniel Agger's own goal.
The 31-year-old midfielder feared for his career during an injury-hit 2011, but Dalglish said there was plenty more to come.
"He's got a lot of years to go yet and we'll look forward to that," he said.
"When Steven's not playing he's influential so I suppose you can add the word hugely influential when he is in the team.
"He's getting back to fitness which is fantastic reward for him and everyone who has worked with him to get him back to the level he's at now."
Gerrard's display against Newcastle was only his 15th Liverpool appearance of 2011. It was his second after an ankle injury he sustained in October which was complicated by an infection.
Prior to that he had a groin infection which kept him out for six months, forcing him to miss the end of last season and the beginning of this season.
Despite that, his goal was well taken as he latched onto Jordan Henderson's pass to tuck the ball under Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul from a tight angle and he provided several goalscoring chances for team-mate Andy Carroll in his 30-minute cameo.
"I think we were pretty much in control any way (before Gerrard's arrival)," added Dalglish.
"They had a bit of possession at the start of the second half without really threatening but obviously, him scoring the third goal helped us.
"He's put the pressure on himself now, scoring a goal but it's great to see him getting his reward.
"He's worked really hard to get where he is. It was a freak injury really, so the boy deserves a bit of luck in 2012."
Bellamy took his tally to five for the season following his two goals against his former club.
But he left the field needing stitches above his eye when he was caught by Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini.
Dalglish was thankful for the Welsh striker's contribution but praised his team's attitude as they came back from 3-1 down to rise to fifth in the Premier League table.
"It's always nice to end the year on a win, I think we deserved the three points," he told BBC Sport. "We showed great attitude and great commitment coming back from going 1-0 down and to go and be 3-1 winners with Steven getting a goal and getting back in the frame of things, made it a decent night for us.
"Everybody has made a contribution, Martin Skrtel made a fantastic clearance off the line from Demba Ba but that and the goal they scored was the only time they troubled Pepe Reina.
"The most important thing we touched on was the fact that players' performances at home have been excellent.
"They continue to make chances and if you look at that game it's the fewest chances we've created than in many others but that's just the way it goes.
"They continue to get in there they are very brave, they are honest and fully committed and I think that's why they won."