The best is yet to come, Jovanovic tells Liverpool
The Serbian ace has made a slow start since moving to Anfield but insists the goals will soon start to flow
Wednesday 15 September 2010
Milan Jovanovic, the Liverpool new-boy insists he has far more to offer the Anfield outfit than he has shown so far. The Reds are still finding their feet under Roy Hodgson and, after Sunday's goalless draw at Birmingham, find themselves in the wrong half of the Premier League table.
Fernando Torres is coming under scrutiny for his lacklustre displays but Jovanovic accepts others must make a bigger contribution. The Serbian international, 29, is yet to score since his summer move from Standard Liege. But he insists it is a situation he does not expect to continue for much longer.
"I was happy with how I played against Birmingham but I know I can do better," the striker said. "I am disciplined and trying to build an understanding with the other players.
"I am not in the best form and I can play better than I have shown so far. But I know I can score goals and make assists for this team; I am sure I can."
Hodgson has already pleaded for patience as he tries to galvanise a side that had slipped to seventh by the end of Rafael Benitez's final season in charge. Jovanovic shares the sentiments.
However, it might not be easy without spending huge sums of money Liverpool do not currently have access to. But, ahead of Thursday night's Europa League showdown with Steaua Bucharest, he is convinced life will soon start getting better for the Anfield giants.
"It is going to take time because there are a lot of new players," he said. "But if we keep getting the ball to Stevie [Gerrard], we will be much better. I have no doubts that we will climb the table. The Premier League is tough but we are Liverpool. That is what matters."
Meanwhile, Everton's Leighton Baines has not given up on his England dream. After featuring in the friendlies against Egypt and Mexico, the full-back was a surprise omission from Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, losing out to Stephen Warnock.
Now Arsenal youngster Kieran Gibbs has leapfrogged above both men to be understudy to Ashley Cole.
It is hard to see that situation changing in the run-up to next month's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro, even though Baines was one of the prime movers behind Everton's remarkable comeback against Manchester United on Saturday.
But the 25-year-old is not allowing himself to get disheartened – and does not believe his international days are over. "You never know where you are with England," Baines said. "Before I got my first call-up I didn't know if I was close or a million miles away. The past has proved if your form is good every week you will get looked at.
"OK, it didn't work out quite as well as it could have done but I am only 25 and there is still time."
The former Wigan star has been keeping up with events on the England front, though. He was quick enough to get in touch with Toffees' team-mate Phil Jagielka to offer his congratulations for the performances against Bulgaria and Switzerland that have placed serious question marks over the defensive futures of established first-choices Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
"Jags has been brilliant for England," said Baines. "I watched him against the Swiss and he looked so comfortable and assured. I texted him after the game and said, 'You looked like you had played 40 internationals'. He didn't look like it was his sixth cap.
"The way he performed for England is the way he plays for us every week; he is a rock."
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