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 Utrecht 0 v Pool 0

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Shankly Gates
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PostSubject: Utrecht 0 v Pool 0   Thu 30 Sep 2010 - 11:22

By Rory Smith, in Utrecht
Published: 7:30AM BST 30 Sep 2010
Rory's Twitter

On target: Liverpool will expect Fernando Torres to be scoring regularly again after recovering from his injury problems Photo: REUTERS
Two knee operations, as well as groin and abdominal injuries, hampered the Spain international last season, while his start to the current campaign has been affected by his recovery from a hamstring strain sustained just minutes after his introduction as a substitute in the World Cup final.
Though Torres has looked short of form and fitness this season, scoring just once, Hodgson has seen enough in recent weeks to convince him his totemic striker is getting his confidence back.


"Fernando is getting better and better," said the Liverpool manager. "He was behind our last four goals, two against [Manchester] United and two against Sunderland, and he will get confidence from that. I said all along it was just a matter of time and it is good to see him getting closer to his level.
"He trains every day like everyone else, he plays at the weekend like everyone else, so there is no reason now to separate him from the group. The injury problems are behind him. We have been keeping a close eye on him and we did not want to throw him in too often or too soon, but I would not dream of playing him tonight if I did not think he could play on Sunday.
"There is nothing wrong with his confidence of course he would like a goal, because everyone knows goalscorers thrive on goals and when they dry up it affects them. But the thing with top goalscorers is you know that it will come again."
Hodgson has not yet decided whether the Spaniard will start at the compact Stadion Galgenwaard but two players he will definitely be without are Daniel Agger and Steven Gerrard.
Agger is rated as a doubt for Sunday's visit of Blackpool because of a groin injury, while Gerrard has been granted a rest by his manager as he recovers from a back strain, though Hodgson dismisses concerns that his captain's age is catching up with him.
"He suffers from back pain and we did not want to exacerbate the situation," he said.
"But Gerrard is the least of my concerns. I'm not in the slightest bit worried I will have to [rest him] regularly."
The Liverpool manager admits his decision to omit the 30 year-old was made significantly easier by his side's good start to the group stage they beat Steaua Bucharest 4-1 but that should not suggest Hodgson is taking his opponents lightly. Far from it.
While on paper this may have the air of a mismatch Utrecht have never won a league title in their current incarnation, while Liverpool are one of Europe's most decorated teams Hodgson is evidently a firm believer that all history is bunk.
"There is no point talking about respective histories," he said. "We are both here on merit. There is no point saying we won the league in 1970 or whatever and Utrecht have never won one. They serve no purpose. This is Liverpool 2010 versus Utrecht 2010.

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PostSubject: Re: Utrecht 0 v Pool 0   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 11:01

Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Liverpool 2 1 1 0 3 4
2 Napoli 2 0 2 0 0 2
3 FC Utrecht 2 0 2 0 0 2
4 FC Steaua Bucuresti 2 0 1 1

As you can see from the Table last nights result in Utrecht was a good result. Our success in Europe has always been based on the tried and tested formula
of drawing away and winning yor homes games. This result was an excellent result not just because it means we are top of our group by 2 points after 2 games
but in the manner we played, the lack of wholesale changes in either the selection or substitutions used and mostly because we kept a clean sheet. Invaluable for the teams confidence.

Also probably the significant factor for me was the attitude of Torres who was pretty much kicked non stop throughout this match but he got up each time, no histrionics and got on with the game.
In the second half he could have easily gone down under a clumsy challenge in a 50:50 ball with the Utrecht keeper for a stick pen but stayed on his feet to try and recover the ball and score.

This is the Torres we have all been waiting to see this season.

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