Kenny still backing Carroll

Liverpool boss defends striker ahead of return to Newcastle

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Last Updated: 30/03/12 10:33am

Andy Carroll: Liverpool striker heads back to Newcastle for the first time on Sunday

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish remains convinced that Andy Carroll will prove his worth after so far failing to justify his £35million price tag.

Carroll has scored just five Premier League goals for the Anfield outfit after arriving from Newcastle back in January 2011 and looks a shadow of the player who terrorised defences for the Magpies.

But ahead of his return to St James' Park for Sunday's Premier League encounter, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1HD, Reds boss Dalglish has again defended the powerful forward.

The Scot said: "There are always going to be people saying it was good or bad. But that doesn't make any difference really. For me, we were delighted to get him and we're still very pleased to have him.

"We were delighted to get him and we're still very pleased to have him. "

Kenny Dalglish

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"We have said all along about the boys who have come in that some settle in quicker than others - and in the environment away from football, too.

"The quicker you settle in, the better chance you're going to give yourself. I think Andy's settled in the area, and he's worked really hard to progress his career."

Stats

Former Magpies manager Dalglish would not be drawn into a debate over Carroll's statistics, which show a return of only six goals from 39 appearances in all competitions this season.

He added: "Stats are there for everyone to twist and turn whatever way they want to. I won't sit and analyse everyone's stats to see where they come out at the end.

"If you're looking for someone with good stats, the most impressive is Maxi, when he's started the games.

Sky Bet Odds

Will Carroll score against his former club? He is 7/1 to get the first goal at St James' Park and 12/5 to score at any time. Bet Now.

"For me, it's not about any one individual, it's about ourselves as a squad and what the squad has done to get results."

Abuse

Many Newcastle fans were angered by Carroll's exit last year, but Dalglish is unsure as to what kind of reception the former favourite of the Toon Army can expect when he returns to the North East for the first time.

"I'm not sure he will get abuse, because what happened was outside his control," Dalglish said. "It's up to them what they want to do. They pay their entrance money and if they want to give him stick, they will give him stick.

"But I don't think he ever did anything other than give of his best for Newcastle, and then they got £35m into the bargain. That's not bad, is it?

"How did it affect me when I went back to Celtic? I scored two. Maybe they should have booed me more often. If you get booed, you take it as a compliment."