Trending now:   Barcelona  •  Chelsea  •  Arsenal  •  Manchester United  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Real Madrid  •  Liverpool  •  Juventus  •  United States  •  Atlético Madrid

Liverpool

Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 19,986 Fans
 
 
 
 
 
Joe Cole returns to Liverpool side to face Steaua Bucharest
Andy Hunter - 4 years ago

The recovery process may be more psychological than physical for Joe Cole in Romania tonight after Roy Hodgson admitted the midfielder's poor start at Liverpool had sent his confidence plummeting.

Cole will make his first appearance in five weeks against Steaua Bucharest having suffered a hamstring strain at Bolton in October and, on the eve of his scheduled comeback at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, an ankle injury when he kicked the ground in training. On top of a three-match suspension collected on his Premier League debut for the club, from the first red card of the England international's professional career, and a loss of form, Cole has struggled to match the expectations that accompanied his arrival on a free transfer from Chelsea in the summer.

Hodgson revealed it has taken a collective effort to protect the 29-year-old's morale. The Liverpool manager said: "He would obviously have liked to hit the ground running but it's not been possible, largely because of injuries, but he has a long time with us, a long contract and we know what he's capable of doing. The sooner he produces it of course the better for me, but there is no pressure on him in that respect.

"He isn't a naturally confident character. He suffers when things are not going his way. Everyone at the club has worked hard to make sure he doesn't take it too hard and take too much on himself, because he's quite happy to take responsibility. Sometimes those players can take too much on themselves and push themselves even further down. Everyone at the club, but in particular the senior players and his England colleagues, have done a great job encouraging him. Hopefully it will start to come right for Joe against Steaua."

Injuries to Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, plus Hodgson's reluctance to employ first-team regulars on Europa League away duty, have resulted in an inexperienced squad travelling to Romania. Hundreds of Liverpool supporters were stranded at Luton airport yesterday after poor weather conditions in Bucharest disrupted flights.

Hodgson admits Liverpool may be low on leadership quality against Steaua but, having obtained a draw with a makeshift team in Naples earlier in the group, he believes no member of his squad will be overawed.

The manager said: "I have still got Pepe [Reina]. He might be a far way away from the action in the goal but, to be fair, if you take the two most experienced players with leadership qualities out of most teams, there would be plenty in our position. Not many teams boast three, four or five leaders in the team. Perhaps being a leader means you push other players into a non-leadership position. This is a chance for someone to stand up and be counted. Poulsen did it against Napoli. Maybe he can do it again."

Steaua Bucharest (4-4-2, probable) Tatarusanu; Bonfim, Alves, Gardos, Latovlevici; Nicolita, Gomes, Bicfalvi, Tanase; Stancu, Surdu. Subs from Lungu, Emeghara, Abrudan, Martinovic, Szekely, Radut, Angelov, Kapetanos, Nastasie.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1, probable) Reina; Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Aurelio; Lucas, Poulsen; Shelvey, Cole, Jovanovic; Ngog.

Subs from Jones, Hansen, Flanagan, Robinson, Pacheco, Eccleston, Babel, Skrtel.

Referee Bulent Yildirim (Turkey)

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment
Comments
Page 1 of 1
go get'm joe!

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Liverpool - 2 hours ago
Paper Round: Real pursue De Gea, Liverpool consider bid for ‘new Busquets’ - and the latest from Thursday's papers.
The panel discuss whether or not Balotelli's time at Liverpool is nearing an end after a bad start to the season.
The striker has been sorely missed, and is expected to feature against West Ham on Saturday
Kolo Toure was celebrating on Wednesday night as he helped steer Ivory Coast to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, courtesy of a 1-0 win over Cameroon.
• Striker set to miss top-of-table game against Manchester City • Brendan Rodgers accuses Costa of ‘double stamp’ • José Mourinho fined £25,000 for alleging ‘campaign’ • Match report ...
Liverpool - 11 hours ago
Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after an incident involving Liverpool's Emre Can.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho expresses his displeasure with a particular Sky analyst and defends his star striker Diego Costa.  ...
Liverpool Football Club have released the following ticket details for the Barclays Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday February 4.
Liverpool Football Club have released the following ticket details for the FA Cup fourth round replay clash with Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium on Wednesday February 4.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his side were better than Chelsea in both legs of the Capital One Cup and praises Thibault Courtois as the difference between the two sides.  ...
Robbie Fowler has told Liverpool's players they can be proud of their efforts during Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool - 14 hours ago
Meanwhile, two players look set to leave Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes goes play-by-play to break down Chelsea's extra-time triumph over Liverpool on their way to the Capital One Cup final. Liverpool wi ...
Liverpool endured heartbreak at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as a goal in extra-time saw Chelsea reach the Capital One Cup final at the Reds' expense. LFCTV GO subscribers can now watch highlights and r ...
Liverpool Football Club's official flagship store re-opens its doors on Saturday after undergoing a state-of-the-art transformation, enabling fans to check it out before kick-off in the West Ham Unite ...
The winner of Liverpool's FA Cup fourth round replay against Bolton Wanderers will subsequently face Crystal Palace at 5.30pm GMT on Saturday February 14.
Jamie Carragher, the Bootle boy who played 737 games for Liverpool, celebrates turning 37 today. To mark the occasion, we've put together a special gallery which charts the Scouser's rise from youngst ...
The Ukraine international has reportedly been targeted by a host of Premier League clubs. Yevhen Konoplyanka is pondering an offer from Roma after his club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk reached an ...
Liverpool's Academy youngsters host Birmingham City in the FA Youth Cup fifth round at Chester FC's Deva Stadium on Friday night, and you can watch the whole game live on LFCTV HD from 6.30pm GMT.

Latest Photo Galleries

Premier League: Sunday round-up
4 years ago
Our selection of the best Premier League pictures from St James' Park and White Hart Lane
In pictures - Liverpool v Chelsea
4 years ago
All the best images from Anfield as Liverpool host the reigning champions
In pictures - Liverpool v Napoli and Lech Poznan v Manchester City
4 years ago
All the best images from tonight's Europa League matches featuring Liverpool and Manchester City
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football