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

Liverpool

Teams /  England  / Liverpool 
Liverpool have 24,251 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
Comments
Page 1 of 1
go get'm joe!

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
LiverpoolFC News - 41 minutes ago
Dejan Lovren has lavished praise upon Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip for the speed with which they have adapted to life at Liverpool following summer moves to the club.
LiverpoolFC News - 49 minutes ago
Liverpool Football Club has today announced that Science in Sport (SiS) will become the official sports nutrition partner for the 2016-17 season.
Anthony Richardson recaps an epic weekend in the Premier League, where Daniel Sturridge and Jurgen Klopp are in the spotlight. Danny Ings has not played a competitive game since October due t ...
LiverpoolFC News - 1 hour ago
This time last year, Kevin Stewart was playing for Swindon Town in League One. Now, he's a valued member of Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool squad.
The 23-year-old has failed to make the breakthrough at Anfield after a promising start to his career, and a move to Austria will be his fourth loan spell in recent seasons
Liverpool's Andre Wisdom has spent the past three season on loan. Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom is set for a surprise loan move to Red Bull Salzburg, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC ...
Liverpool agree to sell striker Luis Alberto to Lazio for £4.3m after the Spaniard made 12 appearances for the Reds.
Luis Alberto spent last season on loan at Deportivo La Coruna. Liverpool have agreed a fee with Lazio for midfielder Luis Alberto, a source close to the Premier League club has told ESPN FC. Luis Albe ...
LiverpoolFC News - 16 hours ago
More than 15,000 Liverpool fans got a first look inside Anfield's new and expanded Main Stand by attending two special events today and last Friday. Here we take a look at what they thought of th ...
LiverpoolFC News - 17 hours ago
Robbie Fowler joined more than 10,000 Liverpool supporters in sampling Anfield's new and expanded Main Stand this afternoon.
LiverpoolFC News - 17 hours ago
Robbie Fowler joined more than 10,000 Liverpool supporters in sampling Anfield's new and expanded Main Stand this afternoon.
The England international insists he is adapting as quickly as possible as the Reds manager continues to deploy the midfielder in defence
LiverpoolFC News - 22 hours ago
Liverpool are unlikely to sign Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic this transfer window, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.
The ESPN FC panel address the rumours that Liverpool, among others, could be bidding for Christian Pulisic's services. FC's Raphael Honigstein gives his take on whether or not Dortm ...
The opportunity to play in Europe's elite competition was enough to persuade the teenage prodigy to remain in Croatia for a little longer
LiverpoolFC News - Yesterday
Gary McAllister believes the capture of Sadio Mane has given Liverpool an extra dimension in attack this season.
Mario Balotelli could 'relaunch his career' at Palermo. Palermo are waiting to hear whether they have succeeded in an ambitious attempt to bring Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli back to the ...
LiverpoolFC News - Yesterday
With Liverpool's fixtures for August complete, it is now time for you to vote for the team's Standard Chartered Player of the Month.
A toothless performance from Les Aiglons at the weekend has their board apparently eager to sign the Italy international forward
Take a look back at all the stats behind Manchester City's 3-1 win over West Ham United, where Raheem Sterling headlined. Iain Macintosh runs the rule over the latest 2016-17 Premier League se ...
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football