Liverpool Turns to Christian Poulsen to Fill Void Left by Injured Captain Steven Gerrard


November 19, 2010

LONDON — Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen has told Reds fans he is about to prove he is no Kop flop — starting with Saturday's clash with West Ham at Anfield.

Poulsen, a summer signing from Juventus, has failed to shine since moving to Merseyside, starting just five Premier Leagues before being relegated to the bench.

But with Liverpool likely to be without Steven Gerrard after his injury on England duty, Poulsen is likely to be handed a recall for the visit of the Hammers.

The confident Dane has backed himself as the man to step into the influential skipper's shoes.

Poulsen said: "I don't think the Liverpool fans have seen the true me yet. We have a new coach, new backroom staff, new players and now new owners. It has taken time for us to find ourselves as a team.

"I hope we can move further up in the table," he said. "I really want to play a big part in it, starting with West Ham at the weekend.

"I knew that I was coming to a big, big club and that competition for places in the team would be very tough," he added. "There has been a lot of pressure because the start to the season hasn't been so good, but I am happy to be here. Everything is in place for me to try and get back into the team and make an impact on Liverpool's season."

Roy Hodgson has an array of injury concerns ahead of the clash with Avram Grant's bottom-placed side, with Fernando Torres, Martin Skrtel, Dirk Kuyt and Gerrard all serious doubts.

Joe Cole is also likely to miss out on a reunion with his former club as he continues to receive treatment on a troublesome hamstring.

West Ham winger Pablo Barrera has told his Hammers team-mates to start turning draws into wins if they are to start climbing the table.

Mexico international Barrera said: "It will be a very difficult match against Liverpool, but we need to start winning. We are drawing too many games.

"The team is playing well despite being frustrated by the results in the recent matches. We are creating a lot of chances, but we are not scoring.

"But I believe we have a great chance to get something from Liverpool. We just need to keep working to come out from this period, because I believe that we've got quality in the squad to do it.

"Of course mentally we are not in our best moment because we have not been winning.

"However, the team is playing well, so we just need a little bit extra to turn draws into wins."

Hammers boss Grant also has his fair share of injury woes with Jack Collison and Zavon Hines out with knee problems.

Mark Noble will also miss the match with appendectomy, Tal Ben Haim has an ankle injury and Anthony Edgar has a knee worry.

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