Kuyt backing Reds' four-star attack to flourish

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The Independent Online

Liverpool's four strikers are in a fierce fight for first-team recognition – but they are all pulling in the same direction according to Dirk Kuyt, although he admits it will be difficult for his manager Rafael Benitez to keep one and all happy.

The 27-year-old Dutchman scored twice against Toulouse in Tuesday night's Champions League qualifier at Anfield, also creating Peter Crouch's opening goal, but he still has no idea whether he will be in the side on Saturday in the Premier League against Derby.

But after helping Liverpool into the group stages draw in Monaco today, Kuyt maintains that there is a strong bond between himself, Crouch, Andriy Voronin and record signing Fernando Torres.

Kuyt said: "All the strikers support each other, we all want each other to do well, and we are close as a unit. But it is going to be difficult because we have four good strikers and sometimes it is not so nice for one or two of us because we will not be on the pitch."

Crouch has already had discussions with Benitez about the situation, and responded with his early goal against the French side after failing to be included in the two previous squads.

Kuyt added: "We understand why Peter was not happy recently, I believe it is something we would all feel if it happened to any of us. But that does not mean we don't understand the reasons, it is just understandable that everyone always wants to play.

"We understand the problem and we try to help each other, we are all facing the same thing and there is a good relationship between the four strikers.

"He continued: "We are all trying to impress the manager, but this situation is also difficult for our opponents because they have no idea what pairing the manager will select for each match. We are still a strong team, that is really all that matters."

Uefa will hold today's draw for the group stage of the Champions League with one of the qualifying matches still to be played. Seville's second leg against AEK Athens was postponed following the sudden death of the Spanish club's 22-year-old midfielder Antonio Puerta at the weekend.

Uefa are to decide how to accommodate both clubs in the draw despite the fact their coefficients mean that, under normal circumstances, the clubs would be in different seeding pots.

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