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Premier League

Damien Comolli praises 'brave' Liverpool owners

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has praised owners Fenway Sports Group for their "brave" approach to the transfer window.

The Americans provided significant cash for the signings of Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Alexander Doni early in the summer.

They then supplemented those additions by bringing in Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates over the last fortnight with the final business being completed with Craig Bellamy's yesterday, on a day when the club offloaded almost all of their remaining deadwood.

In the two transfer windows since taking over the club last October FSG have sanctioned about £120million-worth of signings, although they have recouped well over half that from the sales of Fernando Torres, David Ngog, Ryan Babel and - late last night - Raul Meireles to Chelsea.

Joe Cole and Christian Poulsen, both drains on the wage bill, were offloaded yesterday to Lille (on loan) and Evian (permanently) respectively.

And Comolli believes the way they operated in the window worked out almost perfectly, thanks to the backing he and manager Kenny Dalglish received from principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner.

"It's difficult for me to put into words what they gave us throughout the summer," said the Frenchman.

"Their support was absolutely tremendous, in the down times and in the up times.

"When they needed to invest money we didn't think they'd have to, John and Tom were unbelievably helpful.

"I think we are very lucky to have these owners because people need to realise a lot of owners would have said the squad is too big so you need to reduce it, and then when you've done that bring some players in.

"But that was never the approach they had. They were happy to take risks, for us to spend the money, to support us and to trust us as well.

"I told them in the summer we need to buy players first and towards the end of the window there would be a lot of movement with players going out.

"They were very brave to accept that, having had no experience of a similar transfer window.

"From the outside it might be difficult to understand, but from my side their support was absolutely tremendous."

That approach contrasted sharply with 12 months ago when former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were selling players like Javier Mascherano a week before the transfer window in order to meet interest payments on loans they had taken out.

One of the smartest pieces of business could well turn out to be the re-acquisition of Bellamy on a free transfer.

The 32-year-old returns to Anfield four years after leaving following one satisfactory but unspectacular season on the pitch.

However, Comolli believes the Wales international's vast experience will be useful.

"We were short of an attacking player once David Ngog was transferred to Bolton," he added on liverpoolfc.tv.

"Craig is someone we targeted a long time ago as you can imagine. He's not a discovery for anybody, we know the quality of the player.

"Both for Kenny and I it was a no-brainer. I think everyone knows how good a player he is.

"He has pace, he's a good finisher, he works hard and the timing of his runs is second to none.

"His work-rate is really good and what we really liked is the fact he is so versatile.

"He can play wide, he can play up front, he can play off the target man, so he is an ideal complement to the squad we have built during the summer."

Despite interest from elsewhere Bellamy had eyes only for Liverpool when it became apparent City were prepared to come to an arrangement over the final year of his contract.

"I've grown up with Kenny Dalglish, now to be signed by him is a massive honour," said the Welshman.

"This is an exciting time. The players they've signed this summer, a lot have been British which takes me back to when I started watching Liverpool.

"To be part of it is such a huge honour. It's been a long couple of months, I had to be patient and believe something like this could happen."

Bellamy is now concentrating on winning silverware for the Reds and regaining their top-four status.

"We're not in Europe so it gives us a great opportunity to concentrate on the league," he added.

"Cup competitions speak for themselves but this gives us the opportunity now to go week by week and really concentrate on our league position and get back into the Champions League."