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Torres dry spell our fault -- Carragher

Fernando Torres's sluggish form thus far this season should not be blamed on the Spanish international but on a Liverpool team failing to provide the striker with the chances he craves, according to Jamie Carragher.

Torres has scored just once this campaign, against West Brom in August, and cut a forlorn figure for much of Liverpool's goalless Europa League draw with Utrecht on Thursday. Carragher, though, believes that says more about the performances of his team-mates than the 26-year-old's ability.

"We are not a one-man show," said Carragher. "Torres is not going to be the type of player that picks the ball up, beats four or five men and then smashes it into the top corner. It is up to us to create the chances for him. History shows that if you create enough, you have got a 25-30 goal striker.

"There is nothing to worry about with Fernando. It is up to us as a collective to help him out. He will get chances and he will score goals. We are not providing the chances for him but that has got nothing to do with Fernando. We have got to do a little bit more."

Though Torres's start to the season has been hampered by injury, it has also been suggested that he has been unsettled by the continuing doubts over Liverpool's ownership.

Carragher dismisses such concerns, insisting that the departure of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who face an October 15 deadline to repay their £282m loans to Royal Bank of Scotland, must be secured for the club's long-term future, not simply to satisfy Liverpool's current employees.

"It is a massive decision for the club to make," he said. "It is not about the players who are here now and keeping them happy. We are looking 20 or 30 years down the line. It is about the future of our club for our children."

Meanwhile, Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has apologised for using abusive language towards referee Mike Dean at Bloomfield Road last Saturday. Holloway has been charged with improper conduct by the FA after he confronted Dean in the tunnel following the Seasiders' 2-1 loss to Blackburn in the Premier League.

The Bristolian, who could face a touchline ban, has until today to respond to the charge.

"I apologise for the abusive language I used," Holloway said.

"I should have gone in and calmly said 'I felt this, why did you do that', because he is trying to do his job." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent