Carra praise for Kewell
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jamie Carragher says a fit Harry Kewell is like having a new player at Anfield.Jamie Carragher says that having a fit Harry Kewell in the side is like having a new player at Anfield.
Kewell marked his returning fitness with a thumping winner for Liverpool against Tottenham at Anfield on Saturday, which had the once critical Kop chanting his name.
The Australian has insisted through his bad spell that he would be a different player if he could only return to something like full fitness, and that seems to be bearing fruit now as he enjoys a settled run in the side.
Carragher has been quick to back his team-mate, saying the criticism he took after limping off in the UEFA Champions League final was unjust.
The centre back says that Kewell is not yet fully fit, but is already showing that he can be a real asset to the European champions when back on song.
"He'd had a lot of stick. But he shouldn't take any criticism for the stuff in Istanbul for coming off in the Champions League final," said Carragher.
"He'd snapped his groin, so it's out of order to get criticism for that. But we are all delighted with him now, it's like having a new player.
"What happened in Istanbul was sad, and he's getting the fans back on his side. And goals like the winner against Spurs can only help.
"He can add a lot to us. You only have to look at the England team to know it is difficult to find good quality left-sided players.
"The way he has been playing for us recently and the way he played at Leeds scoring and creating, shows he can be one of the best in Europe on the left.
"Harry believes that when he is fit - and that hasn't happened for a lot of the time he has been here - he can do some damage.
"At the moment he is not quite 100 percent and he's playing this well. With more games and more fitness he will be even better."
Liverpool are entering a tough run of games with matches against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal really testing their resolve.
The Reds are only a point behind United after their derby defeat at Manchester City, which sets up their meeting at Old Trafford on Sunday nicely.
"We were delighted to see Robbie (Fowler) and Manchester City get a great result against them before our game kicked off and hopefully we can do the same at Old Trafford next week.
"It was in the back of our minds that United had lost and it helped to give us a lift. It sets up next weekend nicely."