Liverpool

Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 19,727 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
 
ESPN FC - Liverpool News - 46 minutes ago
ESPN FC's Alison Bender previews Liverpool's clash with Arsenal at Anfield, where there appears to be many pointing fingers at management, summer signings and defending. B ...
The last time Steven Gerrard called upon Liverpool to close the gap on Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League it was February 2014 and the Reds were about to demolish the Gunners with a flurry of five ...
That Liverpool will bid for their 50th Anfield league victory over Arsenal this afternoon is just one of a handful of interesting facts and figures ahead of today's clash, provided by club statisticia ...
Liverpool - 3 hours ago
Fernando Torres could be about to make a surprise return to the Premier League - plus the other top stories from the Sunday papers.
Liverpool return to Barclays Premier League action as they host Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday - for the best coverage, follow the match on the official website, LFCTV HD, social media, mobile and LFCTV ...
In Raheem Sterling, Liverpool can call on the services of not just Europe's newest Golden Boy but a player still with many points remaining to prove when Arsenal journey to Anfield this afternoon.
Liverpool manager rejects fears of burnout by confirming the 20-year-old winger will have a break
Liverpool manager rounds on growing criticism this season as he blames poor form on the loss of Suarez and Sturridge
Confident victories have followed defeats for Arsène Wenger and he believes they have left his side in good shape to take on Liverpool • Liverpool v Arsenal, Sunday, Sky Sports 1, 4pm• Liverpool  ...
Liverpool manager is burning the midnight oil in an attempt to turn around his team's difficult season
• Brendan Rodgers backs ‘a real statesman of the game’• Liverpool manager backs his team to adapt tactically• Arsène Wenger: 5-1 loss to Liverpool is ‘scar in your heart’Brendan Rodgers ...
Week 17 in the Premier League continues on Sunday as struggling Liverpool play host to Arsenal, while Sunderland travel to St. James' Park to face Newcastle.
Liverpool U18s turned in perhaps their strongest display of the season to down Middlesbrough 4-1 at the Academy on Saturday. Here, you can relive the goals, highlights and post-match comments from the ...
Liverpool U18s were in fine form as they defeated league leaders Middlesbrough 4-1 in Kirkby on Saturday afternoon. Here's how the impressive performance unfolded in photographs.
Liverpool's young stars rounded off their calendar year in style by defeating the Barclays U18 Premier League leaders Middlesbrough 4-1 at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool - 21 hours ago
Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic looks like he is starting to finally settle into English football after manager Brendan Rodgers urged him to be more aggressive.
Liverpool - 21 hours ago
Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic looks like he is starting to finally settle into English football after manager Brendan Rodgers urged him to be more aggressive.
Liverpool Arsenal 4:00 PM GMT Game Details  ...
• Forward follows list of winners including Messi and Agüero• ‘It’s a great achievement,’ says 20-year-old• Rodgers says criticism of Sterling is ‘incredible’Liverpool’s Raheem Ster ...
Liverpool - 22 hours ago
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling has won the prestigious Golden Boy award for 2014.

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