Dalglish delivers Carroll defence
Reds boss also adamant club will not be 'irresponsible' with Gerrard
Last Updated: December 28, 2011 2:17pm
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has again defended Andy Carroll after accusing the media of targeting the most expensive British footballer in history.
Ahead of a reunion with former club Newcastle on Friday, the record-breaking £35million striker has endured a torrid 12 months in 2011 after moving to Anfield last January.
Carroll has struggled for fitness, has scored just five goals and has dropped out of England contention since joining Liverpool, while reports continue to surround his social life.
Dalglish was in September angered by Fabio Capello after the England boss suggested the misfiring 22-year-old needed to cut down on his drinking and late nights.
And the subject remains a sore spot for Liverpool's manager, who has now implied reports regarding Carroll's social life are fabricated.
"I think you yourselves have a bigger problem with Andy Carroll than anybody else," a prickly Dalglish told his pre-Newcastle press conference, which was broadcast on Sky Sports News.
"Every week there is questions. This time it is understandable, I suppose, because he is playing against Newcastle United, if he is to start.
"But I don't understand the rest of the stuff. I think somebody has got some imagination about the lifestyle that big Andy leads compared to the one that we know he leads.
"I think somebody has got some imagination about the lifestyle that big Andy leads compared to the one that we know he leads."
Kenny Dalglish Quotes of the week
"So, really, he is unfortunate that he attracts a bit of attention to himself from yourselves.
"But, for us, he has come here and gone about his work very well on and off the pitch and is adjusting to life at a new club with new philosophies and a new way of playing."
Former Newcastle boss Dalglish has come under some pressure after Liverpool were held to a sixth draw of the season at Anfield on Boxing Day following a 1-1 result against rock-bottom Blackburn.
Captain Steven Gerrard returned from a two-month ankle injury as a second-half substitute against Steve Kean's struggling team and made an immediate impact.
With a need for wins in the bid to return Liverpool to the top four, Dalglish could be tempted to rush his skipper, who also missed part of the season due to a groin problem, back to the first XI against Newcastle.
But the Scot said: "He is back and looks even better now than he did the last time he came back.
"But we're not going to be irresponsible and throw him in and take a chance with him. We know he is fit. We know he just needs game time."