Lucas - Go easy on Carroll
Lucas Leiva feels that it would be wrong to heap pressure on Andy Carroll too soon.
Last Updated: 11/03/11 2:54pm
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva feels that it would be unfair to heap expectations on the shoulders of new signing Andy Carroll.
The 22-year-old became the most expensive British player in transfer history after his £35million move from Newcastle on January transfer deadline day.
Carroll came on for his second appearance off the bench in Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Braga on Thursday in the Europa League.
But despite the team losing the England striker's impact was noticeable, winning almost every header, holding up the ball and trying to bring his team-mates into the game.
Much is expected of the Gateshead-born centre forward after such a pricey move, but Lucas believes the player, who has just returned from a two-month lay-off with a thigh injury, needs to be given time to settle in.
"Andy won every single ball in the air and that gave us a chance to step up," said the Brazil midfielder.
"He provides another option because as well as being able to play on the ground we have a target man who can hold the ball and score goals.
"We are happy with what he did against Braga but he has been out for a few months and it would be unfair to put any pressure on him."
Lucas was frustrated by the result in Portugal which ended their 12-match unbeaten run in Europe this season, but is confident they will turn it around next Thursday.
"We are disappointed with the result but I think we can change it at Anfield," he added.
"I think we knew it would be a difficult game because Braga beat Arsenal at home as well.
"We couldn't hold the ball as we would like and we were maybe defending more but aside from the penalty (for the goal) they did not have many clear-cut chances.
"We had chances to score but unfortunately we didn't. Now at Anfield we have to make sure we score more goals and get through to the next round."