Kenny Dalglish is hopeful that Steven Gerrard will be fit to return to Liverpool’s starting line-up against Wigan this weekend, despite being forced to pull out of Fabio Capello’s England squad to face Denmark on Wednesday. Gerrard remained on Merseyside to undergo treatment at Liverpool’s Melwood training complex having suffered the injury during Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat of Chelsea on Sunday.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Dalglish was optimistic his captain would be available for the weekend. “It’s only Thursday so obviously we’ll find out when we get nearer to the weekend – obviously we hope he will be.”
“At the moment there is nobody coming back from international duty with injury problems.”
Liverpool coach Steve Clarke praised Glen Johnson for his improved performances having moved to left back in light of Martin Kelly’s emergence. Johnson had previously earned the ire of Roy Hodgson this season for some lethargic performances which belittled his status as an England international. Clarke, who worked with Johnson at Chelsea, felt that Johnson had been‘re-energised’ by the change in position.
“I worked with Glen at Chelsea and he is always a pleasure to work with,” Clarke explained to skysports.com. “I think he has been re-energised with the change and he has switched to the left and proved he can play just as well there as he can on the right.”
Johnson expressed his willingness to keep playing in that role as long as it benefited the team. “If the team is winning and I am in the team, it doesn’t bother me where I play,” he said.
Reds look to youth.
The Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool are interested in two of England’s brightest young prospects. Kenny Dalglish was among the crowd at Chesterfield as England Under-19s faced their German counterparts. In particular, his interest is believed to have been directed at the pair in attack, Ipswich’s Connor Wickham and Wilfried Zaha, currently at Crystal Palace.
Dalglish is seeking backup for new signings Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, and believes that the two youngsters have the potential to develop into top players. Whickham has already courted the interest of Arsenal and last week scored a marvellous goal for Ipswich against Sheffield United. Zaha too has been on Liverpool’s radar throughout the season and a summer bid looks likely.