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Carroll out to prove his worth

Record signing Andy Carroll is determined to prove he can be a leading goalscorer for Liverpool and does not want to be judged on the injury-affected start to his Reds career.

The £35million striker signed late on the final day of the January transfer window but because of an existing thigh problem he did not make his debut until March 6 as a substitute in the 3-1 win over Manchester United.

Even then he was not fully fit but was accommodated in the side, finishing the campaign with just nine appearances for the Merseysiders.

Many were quick to criticise, with his inflated price tag - paid for out of the £50million deal which took former Kop idol Fernando Torres to Chelsea - becoming something of a stick to beat him with.

However, after a full pre-season Carroll believes he is now ready to show why manager Kenny Dalglish was willing to spend so much to bring him to Anfield.

"I have had the pre-season which I needed and it has helped me get over all the niggles and injuries that I have had," said the 22-year-old.

"I was injured a long time, so it was nice to play a few games and get my fitness up, as well as getting a few goals.

"I'm just looking forward to the rest of the season and keeping myself fit.

"Now it is a case of pushing forward. I have got to show what I can do.

"It is a big stage and I love playing for this club.

"Now I have got to do what I did to get myself here (score goals) and I am out to prove that I can do it here."

Carroll said the influence of Dalglish, and the faith the Scot had shown in him, was a major help.

"Kenny is a great manager and it is great to know that he has given me all his backing," the England striker added.

"I have just got to give it all back to him, really.

"In training he is giving me little pointers here, there and everywhere.

"Obviously I need to listen to him and put them into my game.

"It is nice to know that he has got faith in him and it is a big help."

Carroll was denied a goal, a smart finish having chested down Charlie Adam's cross, in Liverpool's opening 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday. He had pushed Anton Ferdinand and was penalised.

But he, like the rest of the side, tired after half-time and Sebastian Larsson's volley was a deserved equaliser for the visitors.

Although the draw was disappointing, considering rising levels of optimism at Anfield in the wake of £50million-worth of new signings, Carroll said the team was encouraged by the work they had done.

"We are disappointed with the draw but all the lads are happy to get the first game out of the way and with the way things are going," he said.

"We have played some good football, we played well (in the first half) and we will take some positives out of it.

"I think we all played well together, we have done well in training and we created enough chances (against Sunderland) to prove that we can all fit in the team together.

"It is going to take everyone a little while to get together; we want a little bit more and we want to get a few more goals but we all think that it is there.

"Now we have got the next game (at Arsenal) to look forward to."

© Press Association