Martin Kelly was yesterday waiting to hear the significance of his hamstring injury picked up in the defeat by West Ham United, an injury that rubs salt in the wounds of an already wretched weekend for Liverpool.
The England U21 international had been a Premier League ever-present under Kenny Dalglish until he pulled up on Sunday just three minutes shy of half time. His development this season has been shining a light in what can best be described as a disjointed season for the Anfield side, and initial fears are he may be out for around four weeks. This would mean an absence of two Premier League games which sandwich the Europa League double against Braga, but the Whiston-born defender knew immediately what damage he had done.
Dalglish refused to hide behind excuses yesterday and acknowledged both the West Ham result and performance were below par, saying if the players are to take the plaudits for their recent eight game unbeaten run, they must now take condemnation following this poor display. “The credit the boys had has been deserved and I think they’ll stand up and be honest with themselves today, and say they probably got what they deserved – and that was nothing,” and also pointed towards their European involvement for the lacklustre show. “I don’t know whether this was the aftermath for some of the boys from what happened on Thursday night, because that was a tough game but we didn’t seem to be as good as we have been.”
The manager concluded by denying claims that striker Andy Carroll is ‘pencilled in’ to make his much-hyped debut against Manchester United on Sunday, as it seems the Press are rushing him back quicker than the club. The 59-year-old should take note from Steven Gerrard’s return on Sunday as a perfect reason not to hurry their most expensive acquisition back, as the Liverpool captain looked off the pace and his ball distribution was particularly poor, albeit against his very high standards. But as the Scot pointed out in the first few days following Carroll’s signing, Gerrard has been a Liverpool player for five years, not just a few months, meaning a steady comeback for Carroll is more beneficial to the striker in the long-term.
“He (Carroll) is better than bang on schedule. We never pencilled in a date when Andy is going to play. As soon as he’s okay we’ll get him involved,” he continued. “We’ll just have to wait and see. There is nothing that has happened since he came in that’s had an adverse effect on his progress.