Trending now:   Arsenal  •  Manchester United  •  Liverpool  •  Barcelona  •  Chelsea  •  Real Madrid  •  SG Dynamo Dresden  •  Bayern München  •  TSV 1860 München  •  Newcastle United


Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 24,502 fans
Joe Cole returns to Liverpool side to face Steaua Bucharest
Andy Hunter - 5 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
Page 1 of 1
go get'm joe!

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Jurgen Klopp admitted that Sir Alex Ferguson was a friend ahead of Liverpool's match against Crystal Palace. David James believes Jurgen Klopp's team must stop conceding goals to mo ...
LiverpoolFC News - 1 hour ago
Liverpool U23s' unbeaten run in the Premier League 2 came to an end on Friday night as they went down to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Blues' Academy Stadium.
The Catalan side have been linked to Stoke City defender Glen Johnson, but have made steps to lure the Liverpool player to Camp Nou as Dani Alves' replacement
The former Manchester United star believes Jurgen Klopp's team can push to win the league crown this term, and believes winning it would lead to further success
Jurgen Klopp refuses to discuss the potential interest in 15-year-old Bury defender Emeka Obi.
The German says his team knew all about the striker's qualities and has not been surprised to see him in the goals for his new club since moving to Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace Liverpool 4:30 PM UTC Game Details  ...
LiverpoolFC News - 5 hours ago
Jürgen Klopp previews Liverpool's trip to Crystal Palace, Gary McAllister relishes the Reds' EFL Cup clash with Leeds United and Dejan Lovren hails Joe Gomez.
Jurgen Klopp believes that Christian Benteke needed to move on for the good of his career as well as Liverpool.
LiverpoolFC News - 6 hours ago
Jermaine McGillvary’s footballing allegiance means he has an added incentive to reach the final of the Four Nations at Anfield next month.
Liverpool’s ascent to the upper echelons of the Premier League table has seen them go seven games unbeaten and score 16 goals in the process but their trip to SE25 may not be so straightforward. Pal ...
LiverpoolFC News - 7 hours ago
As preparations continued for the weekend encounter with Crystal Palace, the LFCTV GO cameras were at Melwood on Thursday to bring subscribers footage of the players being put through their paces once ...
LiverpoolFC News - 7 hours ago
Liverpool have confirmed their EFL Cup quarter-final fixture with Leeds United will be played on Tuesday November 29.
David James believes Jurgen Klopp's team must stop conceding goals to mount a serious title challenge. LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp insists he is not surprised that Christian Benteke is flourishing ...
LiverpoolFC News - 8 hours ago
Former Liverpool striker Milan Baros celebrates his 35th birthday today. Can you name the clubs he scored against for the Reds?
LiverpoolFC News - 8 hours ago
Adam Lallana chalked up his 100th Liverpool appearance in last Saturday's clash with West Bromwich Albion - and to mark the occasion, we've put together a clip of 10 of the playmaker's  ...
While Craig Burley acknowledges Jurgen Klopp's impact as a leader, he's not sure if Liverpool are ready to be contenders. David James believes Jurgen Klopp's team must stop con ...
LiverpoolFC News - 8 hours ago
Liverpool FC U14/U15s travelled to Poland this week to take part in the Premier League and Bundesliga Academy 2016 tour.
The Reds boss has been flattered by kinds words from the Scot but admits he is unsure if he can return the praise due to the fierce rivalry that exists between the clubs
LiverpoolFC News - 9 hours ago
Jürgen Klopp insists he is not surprised by the impact Christian Benteke has made following his summer transfer to Crystal Palace as he prepares to line-up against Liverpool for the first time since  ...
Kick4Life - changing lives through football