Trending now:   Liverpool  •  Arsenal  •  Manchester United  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Chelsea  •  Barcelona  •  Manchester City  •  Real Madrid  •  Bayern München  •  Aston Villa

Liverpool

Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 20,718 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
Comments
Page 1 of 1
go get'm joe!

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Liverpool's dreams of FA Cup glory came crashing to a halt as they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in their semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.
Liverpool were defeated 2-1 by Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. Here's how the match unfolded in photographs.
Liverpool take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley this afternoon. Check back to this page throughout the match as we'll be updating the gallery below with live photographs.
Liverpool take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley this afternoon. Check back to this page throughout the match as we'll be updating the gallery below with live photographs.
Fara Williams missed a penalty as Liverpool Ladies lost 1-0 at Chelsea on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers makes three changes to his Liverpool starting XI for this afternoon's FA Cup semi-final clash with Aston Villa at Wembley.
Follow all of the action from Wembley as Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals with our live match centre - featuring commentary, text updates, stats and much more.
Follow all of the action from Wembley as Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals with our live match centre - featuring commentary, text updates, stats and much more.
Follow all of the action from Wembley as Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals with our live match centre - featuring commentary, text updates, stats and much more.
Follow all of the action from Wembley as Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals with our live match centre - featuring commentary, text updates, stats and much more.
Former FA Cup-winning Liverpool captain Mark Wright thinks that his old club will be boosted by the return of Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard from suspension for their semi-final with Aston Villa.
Liverpool face Aston Villa in their 24th FA Cup semi-final today at Wembley. Here are all of the key facts and figures on the showdown.
A look back at Liverpool's journey to this year's FA Cup semi final - featuring wins over AFC Wimbledon, Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers.  ...
The Republic of Ireland Under-17s international will join the Reds after impressing with the Boys in Green and Ringmahon Rangers, understood to have agreed a four-year deal
Liverpool - 6 hours ago
The Northern Irishman believes that only Manchester United sit on par with the Reds, suggesting that Raheem Sterling would be taking a step down if he left Anfield.
Ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, we speak to Aston Villa hero and current club ambassador Ian Taylor.
Jordan Henderson is ready to hand the captain's armband back to Steven Gerrard if he's selected for the FA Cup semi-final with Aston Villa, but admits it would be a 'great honour' to lead Liverpool ou ...
Jamie Carragher has backed Raheem Sterling to shine on the Wembley stage and fire Liverpool to an FA Cup semi-final victory when the Reds lock horns with Aston Villa on Sunday.
Liverpool face Aston Villa at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday afternoon - for the best coverage, follow the match on the official website, LFCTV HD, social media, mobile and LFCTV GO.
Brendan Rodgers wants a calm approach against Aston Villa at Wembley to maintain Liverpool's fierce intent to lift silverware by successfully booking a place in the FA Cup final today.

Latest Photo Galleries

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