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05 December 2023

Liverpool’s comeback plan: more Kuyt than Carroll

Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool competes with Micah Richards of Manchester City during the Carling Cup semi final at Anfield in this January 25 file photo. (GETTY)


Dirk Kuyt is hoping for an extended run in Liverpool's side after admitting he has found it "very difficult" not being a regular starter in Kenny Dalglish's plans.

Kuyt climbed off the substitutes bench to hit the dramatic late winner as Dalglish's side defeated bitter rivals Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

It was Kuyt's first goal in a Liverpool shirt since September and the Netherlands striker is now targeting a run of games -- starting at Wolves on Tuesday -- after enduring a frustrating campaign.

"It has been very difficult," said Kuyt, who has yet to win a trophy since moving to Anfield in August 2006.

In comparison Livepool’s mega signing of the season Any Carroll still has to score regularly to win over the fans. This despite a strong performance against Manchester United.

"I'm the type of player who needs games in a row. It's difficult, I'm a player who has been used to playing every game.

"The more I play the better I feel. I've been used to playing every game for the past 10 years of my career. That's something I have to prove on the pitch and in training.

"Obviously I just want to play every game and convince the manager of that every time I play.

"When things aren't going so well you just have to keep working hard and that's what I did."

Liverpool have brought their season to life since slumping to a depressing 3-1 defeat at struggling Bolton on January 21, their last appearance on the Premier League stage.

They have advanced to the League Cup final after overcoming Manchester City 3-2 on aggregate as well as securing a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup at United's expense.

But they are six points adrift of fourth place in the league after failing to win their first three top-flight games of 2012.

"We have set the standard this week," added Kuyt. "Everyone was really disappointed about the Bolton game.

"We didn't put enough effort into the game. We weren't at the level we want to play.

"We have proved many times we can compete with the best teams. Now  it's really important to play well against the other teams. That starts with a very important game against Wolves on Tuesday."

Kuyt is expected to start at second-bottom Wolves while midfielder Charlie Adam and right-back Glen Johnson are pushing for recalls.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has warned his team they must put an end to their catalogue of "heroic failures" after slipping into the bottom  three for the first time this season.

Despite picking up creditable draws away at Arsenal and Tottenham,  Wolves have failed to win any of their last eight Premier League matches -- picking up just four points in the process.

"I don't want people talking to me about how we've  played good, bad or indifferent," McCarthy said. We need to win games and we need  points.

"I don't want to be in the bottom three at any stage. We are playing well but we are finding every way possible to lose a game and it's  costing us.

"Look at the Aston Villa game (which Wolves lost 3-2). There wasn't a lot more that could have gone wrong in the game -- a penalty given away, a sending-off (for Karl Henry), someone carried off (Emmanuel Frimpong).

"It was another game we should have won on the back of our terrific first-half performance.

"But it goes down as another heroic failure, which I don't want. It's been the story of our season."

Henry is suspended for the clash and could be replaced by Nenad Milijas.

But Frimpong is expected to recover from the facial injury he suffered against Villa.