Roy backs Cole to bounce back
Roy Hodgson admits Joe Cole's start to his Liverpool career 'couldn't have been worse' but is not concerned.
Last Updated: 21/08/10 2:44pm
Roy Hodgson is not concerned by Joe Cole's start to his Liverpool career despite admitting it 'couldn't have been worse'.
Less-than-ideal does not really come close to describing Cole's career in a Reds shirt so far after being sent off against Arsenal last weekend before missing a penalty in Thursday's Europa League tie with Trabzonspor.
The 28-year-old midfielder is now facing a three-match suspension for his lunge on Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, starting with Monday's clash at Manchester City.
But Hodgson, who could still field Cole in the Euro return leg next week, concedes it will be some time before the ex-West Ham playmaker shines.
The Liverpool manager said: "The biggest blow is for him. He was so desperate to start his career here well and he hasn't done so.
"In his first game he managed to get himself sent off - albeit somewhat harshly - and in his second he missed a penalty.
"It has been a bad week for him and now it is going to be even worse because after the game in Turkey he will have to sit on his backside for two or three weeks because of the international break.
"It couldn't be a worse start for Joe Cole in his Liverpool career but starts are starts and finishes are finishes.
"We will judge Joe Cole on what he has done for Liverpool sometime in the middle of May when the final ball this season has been kicked."
One player who could start at City is star striker Fernando Torres, who has made two substitute appearances since suffering a groin injury playing for Spain in the World Cup final.
Torres made an immediate impact when introduced at half-time against Trabzonspor and Hodgson feels he is now ready for 90 minutes.
Hodgson said: "He showed what a quality player he is on Thursday.
"He was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Turkish defence and was very unlucky not to score.
"We know what we have got in Fernando Torres and know over however many games we play he is going to be a very important player for us.
"It is really nice to see him back and it is important now we manage his fitness.
"It is important we look after him because we want him to be playing on a regular basis throughout the season and not only for a short period because we have overused him.
"Hopefully this year the Kop will see a lot of him."