Kirkland ready for Jerzy battle
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
CHRIS KIRKLAND says he is ready to fight it out for the number one jersey at Liverpool with Jerzy Dudek.
Kirkland had just broken into the first-team at Anfield when he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in Liverpool's FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace in January.
The former Coventry City keeper needed surgery on the problem and that allowed Polish international Dudek to reclaim the starting place in between the sticks.
The 22-year-old has battled back from injury and now appears ready to contest the number one spot again after he turned out for Gerard Houllier's side in the opening pre-season friendly in Cologne.
Kirkland now says that he is ready to challenge for the number one spot again, and sees himself staying at Anfield for years to come.
"Even when I was out injured I always knew another chance would come my way," said Kirkland.
"I signed a six-year contract when I arrived and there are four years remaining on that.
"I don't intend to do anything else except play for Liverpool."
Kirkland is set to figure in Liverpool's game at Crewe on Saturday, when Houllier's two French 'gems' are also set to make their first appearances in a Liverpool shirt.
18-year-olds Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec were bought by Houllier a couple of years ago but they have finally arrived on Merseyside and will make their first appearances at Gresty Road.
"Unfortunately they couldn't play against Cologne, but they should be involved against Crewe," Houllier said of his young duo.
"It will be a good experience for them to get a chance in the remaining pre-season games."