Dalglish expects nervous Carroll

PA Sport
Andy Carroll
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Andy Carroll

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is happy for Andy Carroll to have some nerves about returning to Newcastle this weekend.

The club's £35million record signing has faced his former club twice since leaving in January last year but both have been at Anfield and both ended in comfortable victories. However, coming up against the Magpies in the north east at a ground where Carroll very quickly established himself as a hero to thousands of Geordies is a different prospect.

"It's not a bad thing, is it? If you weren't nervous you'd have a bit of a problem," said the Scot. "In my case it was always best to be nervous rather than totally laid back."

On Liverpool's last visit there in December 2010 Carroll was an influential figure in the hosts' 3-1 win, scoring once himself.

And since the clubs' last meeting at Anfield three months ago the balance of power has swung heavily in favour of Alan Pardew's side with Liverpool eight points adrift of sixth-placed Newcastle after a run of five defeats in six Barclays Premier League matches.

Summer signing Jose Enrique also returns to his former club for the first time but the focus will undoubtedly firmly be on Carroll and Dalglish, himself an ex-Newcastle manager, fully understands any pre-match anxiety for the striker.

He added: "I don't think anyone can be laid back when they go and play at the club that gave him his opportunity in football and turned him into a professional footballer. For him and Jose it will be an exciting time to go back."

Dalglish spent 20 months in charge of Newcastle between 1997 and 1998 and was full of praise for the job Pardew has done in keeping the club as high as they are in the table after critics suggested their early season good form would taper off.

"It's not the first old club I've been back to and every club I've been at I've enjoyed. It was no different there," he added. "I enjoyed the people I worked with, the people I worked for, and they've got fantastic supporters.

"They get right behind their side, it's a fantastic place to go and play football and it's a great city that should be proud of its football club. This year Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job getting to where they are in the league and I'm looking forward to going back."

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