Carroll up and running - Dalglish

BY foxsports • April 16, 2011

The £35million striker grabbed his first two goals for the Reds in their impressive 3-0 demolition of Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday. It ended a two-month wait for the 22-year-old, who was carrying a thigh injury at the time of his club record move from Newcastle in January. Dalglish said: "It wasn't of paramount importance he scored - we put him back in a bit earlier than we probably should have, but obviously he was medically okay. "He just needed match practice and it was going to take him a few games to get up to that. "He scored the other night but that is not his fitness complete, and it is not his career complete at Liverpool. "It was just a stepping stone to go forward and produce more goals for us." Carroll, making only his fourth start for the club, played alongside fellow new recruit Luis Suarez and the pair showed signs of a promising partnership. Uruguay striker Suarez has also made an impressive start to his Liverpool career having scored twice since his January arrival and played an instrumental role in last month's defeat of Manchester United. Dalglish added: "Sometimes it takes a little time to settle down but both Andy and Luis have been brilliant. "They have settled in very quickly and got on with the game. We are delighted with both of them." Another player to catch the eye against City on Monday was 18-year-old right-back John Flanagan, who was handed his debut in the absence of the injured Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly. The Academy graduate's baptism of fire could now continue as Liverpool travel to title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday. Dalglish said: "Circumstances accelerated his promotion a little bit and he did very well. "We had no qualms about putting him in for his attitude and commitment. "At just 18 years of age, to play against Manchester City is a big test, and he came through it fine." Johnson and Kelly remain sidelined with hamstring injuries but Liverpool have no fresh fitness concerns as they seek their first win at the Emirates Stadium. Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger are the other major absentees having both been ruled out for the rest of the season. Dalglish knows what to expect from Arsenal, who must win to keep their hopes of overhauling leaders Manchester United alive. He said: "Arsenal are a fantastic footballing side. "Up until about a month ago they were in with a shout for four competitions. "They just have the Premier League now but it doesn't take away the fact they have players of fantastic ability and are a team a lot of people enjoy watching. "We know it is a difficult game for us and we know what we are up against. "But I think they'll be saying they will have a difficult game also." Liverpool are sixth in the table but, with six games remaining, can ill afford to drop many more points in their bid to catch Tottenham and qualify for the Europa League. Dalglish is well aware victory in north London could edge United closer to eclipsing Liverpool in terms of league title wins but that does not concern him. He said: "Does it not make us happy to come home with three points? We will look after ourselves." Dalglish refuses to discuss his own personal situation despite continuing speculation over whether or not he will be offered a longer-term contract. The 60-year-old returned to the Anfield hotseat for a second spell in January, on a caretaker basis, following the departure of Roy Hodgson. Appointing him full-time would prove hugely popular with supporters but the club's owners are yet to indicate their intentions. Dalglish said: "I have nothing to say. As I have said before, if we have anything to say, we will tell everybody. "If somebody wants to speculate that is up to them." Dalglish, however, was more willing to comment on the new contract for forward Dirk Kuyt which was announced this morning. The 30-year-old Holland international, who has scored 11 goals this season, has signed a one-year extension to his existing deal committing him to the club until summer 2013. Dalglish said: "He has done brilliantly for the club and it is just reward the contract has been extended. "He always chips in with goals and he is never going to be short of workrate. "We have got a person who knows what the club is all about and somebody who is very happy here. We are very happy to have him."

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