Trending now:   Arsenal  •  Liverpool  •  Chelsea  •  Manchester United  •  Barcelona  •  Atlético Madrid  •  Bayern München  •  Real Madrid  •  Manchester City  •  Feyenoord

Liverpool

Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 26,459 fans
 
 
 
 
 
Joe Cole returns to Liverpool side to face Steaua Bucharest
Andy Hunter - 7 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
 
The Egypt international has been in unstoppable since joining Liverpool, and his former manager said the his Chelsea exit was down to the club.
The Exploding Heads recap the semi-finals, Mo Salah's goal celebrations and more with Champions League in 90 seconds.
The Exploding Heads recap the semi-finals, Mo Salah's goal celebrations and more with Champions League in 90 seconds.
In an interview with ESPN FC, Roma chairman James Pallotta provides an inside look at how Mohamed Salah's move from Roma to Liverpool came to be. Relive Mohamed Salah's two first ha ...
The guys respond to your tweets about Liverpool's win over Roma, with questions about Mo Salah, strategy for the second leg and more. Steve Nicol explains why he feels deflated after Liv ...
Spending £50m on a full-back may seem extravagant but it demonstrates the position’s importance in the modern gameAccording to some people, any club who can afford to spend £50m on a full-back sho ...
The family of Sean Cox, the Reds supporter attacked by a pair of Roma fans on Tuesday, have spoken of their hopes he makes a full recovery
It's been a tough season for the Belgian - but the exemplary professional knows how quickly a goalkeeper's life can turn around
Liverpool centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren tried their hand at the art of football commentary.
LiverpoolFC News - 5 hours ago
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish visited a local school this week to launch 'King Kenny', a new children’s book created by main sponsor Standard Chartered.
LiverpoolFC News - 5 hours ago
Jürgen Klopp will hold his pre-Stoke City press conference from 10.30am BST on Friday - tune in with our live and free stream from Melwood.
A fan was left in critical condition after being attacked in Liverpool prior to the first leg, and both teams are keen to avoid any repeats in Italy
LiverpoolFC News - 6 hours ago
The new LFC 247 trainers from New Balance can be pre-ordered online and at official club stores from 9am BST on Friday April 27.
Former Reds star has been offered the chance to take charge at Ibrox - and go head-to-head with Brendan Rodgers
LiverpoolFC News - 7 hours ago
Join us at Anfield to watch Liverpool take on AS Roma in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Steve Nicol explains why he feels deflated after Liverpool's 5-2 win over Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sees the positives from ...
LiverpoolFC News - 7 hours ago
Liverpool were readying themselves for the weekend clash with Stoke City during their Thursday workout at Melwood - and our photographer was granted behind-the-scenes access to the session.
• Liverpool take steps to protect 5,000 fans travelling to semi-final• Fears heightened after Liverpool fan assaulted outside AnfieldLiverpool have taken the unprecedented step of organising a mee ...
LiverpoolFC News - 7 hours ago
Liverpool Football Club is continuing to do everything in its power to provide supporters travelling to Rome next week with the most comprehensive safety and security advice.
Liverpool's inability to close out matches comes back to haunt them as Roma score two late goals and rescue a glimmer of hope heading into leg two. Liverpool's inability to close ou ...
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football