Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dalglish happy to wait for Carroll's goals

Kenny Dalglish. Photo: Reuters
Kenny Dalglish. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is prepared to be patient with record signing Andy Carroll as the £35m striker continues to search for his first goal.

Having scored for England in Tuesday's friendly against Ghana, in only his second appearance, the next landmark for the 22-year-old is to open his account for the team he joined from Newcastle in January.

And Dalglish admits it may take a while before Carroll and fellow transfer window arrival Luis Suarez can live up to the boast of captain Steven Gerrard that Liverpool now possess "the most feared strikeforce in the league".

The pair have played just 87 minutes together over two matches because of Carroll's injury-delayed debut and Suarez's ineligibility in Europe.

But even during that brief period there have been glimpses of a potentially exciting attacking partnership.

Gerrard certainly sees the potential but his manager was less inclined to go overboard just yet.

"I don't think he is a bad judge if he thinks Andy and Luis are a very strong strikeforce," said the Scot.

"Andy has a bit to go to get himself up to match fitness but he came in here for five and a half years, not a few months.

"As (England coach) Fabio Capello said, he's not going to get fit as quickly as an Aaron Lennon, but we'll be patient and when he's ready he's ready.

"We won't put any timescale on it and we'll take it as it comes.

"The 60 minutes he got for England was very helpful in his recuperation and his fight to try to get back to full fitness.

"We are delighted with the two players we have. Whether they are the best or not is subjective - everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

Carroll has already displayed an aerial dominance Liverpool have been lacking for several years but such a bonus can also be a hindrance if it detracts from the pattern of play Dalglish has established in the two months since taking over from Roy Hodgson, whose West Brom side he will face on Saturday.

The Reds boss is aware there may be a temptation to go long, early, to the England international - there have been many examples already in the four appearances he has made since recovering from injury.

He admits it will take time to integrate a player with Carroll's attributes into a side indoctrinated in passing football but he trusts his players to work it out.

"We know what Andy Carroll is about and we know what his assets are," said the 60-year-old.

"Sometimes when you're struggling a bit it's a great asset to have but we've got to pick and choose our moments.

"It's up to us to get to know Andy, and Andy to get to know us.

"I don't think we've done too badly in the game and a bit he's played for us (in the Barclays Premier League).

"We were better the second time than we were the first.

"We've got intelligent footballers here and Andy is not unintelligent himself when it comes to football so I'm sure they'll work out when's right and when's wrong.

"I'm sure they won't get it right every time but they'll get it right most of the time."

Off the field Dalglish gave his backing to managing director Ian Ayre's confirmation that the club would only sell naming rights on a new stadium, not a redeveloped Anfield.

No decision has been taken by owners Fenway Sports Group on which option will be pursued but Liverpool stressed if they remained in their current home there would be no sponsor's name attached to pay for the renovations.

"For me, being a traditionalist, Anfield is a fantastic ground with fantastic history and memories but unless they (FSG) can get the ground up to the capacity they want they will have to move somewhere else," said the man regarded as the Reds' greatest player.

"Going to a new ground would have its own interests: there would be more people there, it would still be Liverpool playing there and it would still be romantic and it would be a fantastic stadium with fantastic support in it.

"To rename a new stadium is something most people do anyway. You don't get any old stadiums renamed so I don't think they would rename Anfield."

Press Association

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