Liverpool's interim manager Kenny Dalglish has suggested that the abuse Andy Carroll expects to receive if he is fit to face Newcastle United on Sunday will be an inverted compliment to him.
The £35m striker is a doubt to face his old club because of the jarred knee he sustained at Arsenal two weeks ago and though Carroll's initial suggestion that he was being moved to Anfield against his own wishes may temper some views of him on Tyneside, Dalglish said attacks will underline the player's value. "[Newcastle fans] will do whatever they want," said Dalglish. "It won't take away from what he has done for their club and what the club meant to Andy. They will do whatever they want to do and it is a compliment really, in a strange way, if you do get abuse because it means you must have been important to them."
But fans who do give Carroll abuse should remember that Newcastle have signed other clubs' strikers too, Dalglish said, such as the 1996 acquisition of Alan Shearer, who had helped Dalglish's Blackburn to the Premier League title. "I'm sure when Newcastle signed Alan Shearer they didn't give too much consideration to Blackburn Rovers' fans but that's football. I don't know what they will do on Sunday but if, as a player, you don't get abuse off your old supporters then they can't have been too disappointed that you left. I think the boy is expecting something."
Dalglish will assess Carroll again today and if he misses Sunday he will be fit for Craven Cottage on Monday week. "He's got a bit of mileage left to go in this season yet before we start concentrating on next year," Dalglish concluded.