Kenny Dalglish happy with Andy Carroll work-rate

 

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish maintains he is happy with Andy Carroll's application and believes the striker is proving his commitment to the team ethos.

The club's £35million record signing's performance in last night's 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final first-leg victory at Manchester City came in for some criticism because of his ineffectiveness.

Carroll squandered a golden chance to put his side ahead in the fifth minute when he turned Stefan Savic on the edge of the penalty area only to fail to beat goalkeeper Joe Hart who saved with his legs.

But after flashing a long-range header wide of the far post from Martin Kelly's cross the England international's night became increasingly frustrating.

With his team holding on to the lead given to them by Steven Gerrard's 13th-minute penalty the 23-year-old became more and more isolated up front and as his job became harder his confidence dropped and his annoyance rose.

To be fair to Carroll, towards the end of the game Liverpool dropped so deep when they did manage to get the ball up to him there were no team-mates within 40 yards.

It was not the way a man who has scored just four goals in 23 appearances wants to be treated but Dalglish praised his big front man, for whom speculation about his future refuses to go away, for his contribution.

"Andy worked fantastically hard for us and sacrificed himself for the sake of the team," said the Scot.

"If our players continue to work as hard as he did last night - every one of them - then if we want to move in the right direction that will be a great start for us.

"And in the second half they sacrificed their own beliefs for the benefit of the team and they defended really well.

"There is nothing wrong with the commitment of this squad and if it were going to be put to the test it was going to be at City and they stood up to the test.

"There weren't many too many near misses for City and every single one stood up and was counted and sacrificed themselves for the team and I think everyone will have appreciated it."

With Luis Suarez banned for a further five matches Carroll is likely to get his first extended run in the side and he faces Stoke at Anfield on Saturday looking for his first Barclays Premier League goal since the end of October - although he did score in last week's 5-1 FA Cup win over Oldham.

One player who has had no trouble finding the net has been captain Gerrard, who at the Etihad Stadium made it four goals from as many starts in an injury-troubled season.

He has now scored back-to-back penalties and made it successive 90-minute outings after three short substitute appearances after two months out.

Dalglish believes the midfielder, having come back from a groin operation in March and then an ankle infection, will have a major impact on the side in the final four months of the season.

"For Steven to step forward and score with a penalty is great for us," said the Reds boss.

"He is going to get better every time he finishes a match.

"He is certainly gaining the benefit. It is great to see him back and he has a great influence for us."

Gerrard has spoken previously about what a bad time 2011 was for him but he now feels he is back where he belongs.

"I feel like a footballer again - I've had a difficult year," he told BBC Sport.

"It's games like this (against City) that I've missed, games like this I've been patient for and worked so hard to get back for."

Check out Liverpool's potential January transfer targets by clicking here.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition