Dalglish chaperones Carroll to see Boyzone.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has played down reports of Andy Carroll’s fitness and stated he is not ready for his debut against West Ham on Sunday.

As the £35 million man stepped up training this week the press were eyeing a debut story for the Reds striker. At the press conference ahead of his team’s Europa League clash Dalglish said, “He is close to full training. I don’t think he’s quite ready for a game yet. Andy’s progress has been exactly as anticipated.”

Carroll hasn’t played since 28 December in Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham and was even sent to Dubai by the Toon in hope that the warm weather would accelerate his recovery.

As Liverpool prepare for the second leg of their round of 32 Europa League tie at Anfield, Dalglish insisted he was being patient with his new striker. “Andy has been involved with the lads for parts of the training but there’s no need to get carried away.”

Missing several senior players and devoid of creativity Liverpool played out a 0-0 draw in Prague last week. But in front of their home support Liverpool will hope to take the game to the Czechs. But Dalglish said that it was up to the players to get the best out of The Kop to create a famous Anfield European night.

As for Carroll it appears that the Liverpool medical staff are taking their time making sure their new number 9 is absolutely ready to take the park before handing him a debut. The Anfield outfit have the quality to reach the next round of the Europa League and also to beat Premier League strugglers West Ham in Sunday’s game.

Carroll was fit enough to attend a Boyzone concert in the week with his boss. Under the terms of his bail Carroll is not allowed out in public without adult supervision between 1900 hours and 0900, so Dalglish chaperoned his 22 year old signing to the Echo Arena. Dalglish denied they were a couple.

The atmosphere around Anfield and in press conferences has improved beyond recognition since Kenny Dalglish returned to the manager’s job. Roy Hodgson is a distant memory and Liverpool can look forward to the future with a smile once again, thanks to the canny Scot and FSG.


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