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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Dalglish praises ‘fantastic’ Liverpool forward Bellamy

Tim Ream cost a reported £2.7 million

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will continue to use veteran forward Craig Bellamy sparingly over the remainder of the campaign, an indication of how important the injury-prone Welsh international is to his club’s cause.

Bellamy, 32, is certain to play some part in his team’s visit to struggling Bolton, a game Liverpool hope will allow them to maintain the push towards a top-four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League.

But it is likely to be a cameo role. Bellamy has started just nine games in all competitions this season, and completed 90 minutes just once, making 11 appearances as a substitute – a policy which Dalglish says he will need to continue.

“Some players need greater management than others, but the players themselves have got to look after themselves,” he said.

“Craig is fantastic in preparing for matches. I’m sure there’s many others in there exactly the same – but he’s really got a great knowledge of how you prepare.

“For the fitness side of it, it’s not fair on too many players at this stage of the season to be starting them every single game. Our goalkeeper Pepe Reina, obviously, has started every one – but for the outfield players it’s difficult for them, to get them through every game you play.”

There has been no doubting Bellamy’s enthusiasm and value to Liverpool when he has been used so far this season, since re-joining the club from Manchester City in the summer, and he played a pivotal role in his team’s recent League Cup semi-final victory against his former club.

“He’s been like that since he was at Norwich and was only 17-years-old,” said Dalglish. “He does what best suits him and that’s all you can ask for. It’s an indication on Craig and how he’s managed himself.

“Some can go longer, further, harder than others. We just want them to give themselves the best possible opportunity of performing as best they can. We manage it between ourselves and the player, whoever that individual is.

“But I think it’s unfair on anybody, certainly an outfield player, to expect them to start every game. We have to manage every single one of them and get them on the pitch in the best possible shape.

“We can’t run people into the ground so we have to try and manage how they get on the pitch and how long they are on the pitch for.”

Dalglish, meanwhile, has confirmed his club is interested in signing 19-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Carlos Teixeira with Liverpool reportedly having tabled a bid of £850,000.

Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager, has seen his side win just once at home in the league to date this season – and collect four points from an available 30 in the process – but insists he has seen signs of recovery recently during a testing period of games.

“When we came into the turn of the year, everybody looked at the fixture list – Everton, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal – and thought we would get nothing out of it,” said Coyle.

“We started off with a terrific three points at Everton and played well in parts at Old Trafford. So we have been in an okay run of form, playing well enough.

“Liverpool have spent over £100 million in the space of a year and it’s great for us when everybody writes you off and you can pick up points. That’s the motivation.”

The game will come too soon, however, for Bolton central defender Tim Ream, who has completed a move from MLS side New York Red Bulls but who must wait until next week for work permit clearance.

Ream, who cost a reported £2.7 million, has already impressed Coyle — by cancelling his honeymoon.

“Tim got married a week past Saturday and I had to ask him to cancel his honeymoon to Tahiti which is something he gladly did,” said Coyle. “That shows how keen he is to be involved.”

©2011 AFP

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