Dalglish stands by Carroll after Capello fuels doubts

England manager warns striker he will miss out on Euro 2012 unless the goals flow

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The Independent Football

Liverpool's manager Kenny Dalglish has strongly defended his £35 million signing Andy Carroll after Fabio Capello said the striker must improve his form and fitness to come close to a return to the England squad.

Even with Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch left out of last week's international friendlies against Spain and Sweden, and Gabriel Agbonlahor withdrawing, Carroll was ignored and already looks an outsider for a place at Euro 2012.

He has scored only two League goals this season and was warned by the England manager that he needed to cut down on his drinking.

After England's game against Sweden on Tuesday, Capello said: "If he is in good condition and good form he will be selected. Andy Carroll is a good player, a good talent, but probably in this moment he needs to wait. He needs to score goals. For forwards it is like a drug." But with Carroll hoping for the chance to go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge this afternoon with the one Premier League player to have cost more money, Chelsea's Fernando Torres, Dalglish defended his man.

He said: "We're delighted with Andy Carroll so I don't know where people get their ideas from. Andy will settle in, there's no problem whatsoever. We've been delighted with that he's done."