No hard feelings for Kirkland
Chris Kirkland insists he harbours no bitterness towards Rafael Benitez as he prepares to return to Anfield with Wigan
Last Updated: 01/01/08 1:19pm
Chris Kirkland insists he harbours no bitterness towards Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as he prepares for his first return to Anfield since his departure 18 months ago.
Kirkland spent five years on the Reds' books following a £6million move from Coventry in August 2001, but managed a total of just 45 appearances, primarily due to a string of injuries.
The 26-year-old did play 14 times under Benitez shortly after the Spaniard's arrival at the club prior to suffering a back injury which led to him dropping out of the picture completely.
A season-long loan spell at West Brom that was again wrecked by injury followed, prior to Kirkland moving to Wigan in the summer of 2006, again initially on loan before signing permanently.
Although his last game for Liverpool was three years ago, Kirkland has not played at Anfield since, either for the Baggies or Latics due to his injury concerns.
Despite being dumped by Benitez, Wednesday's Premier League match will still be a special one for Kirkland.
"I've nothing to prove in going back to Anfield," he said.
"I enjoyed my time there, but had to move on. That's football, although I don't think the Liverpool fans will remember me too well as I was injured quite a lot.
"But I still played around 50 games for them. What happened is one of those things. I had a lot of injuries, and when I was fit, the gaffer thought it best for me to move on.
"But I'm not bitter about it and I certainly don't regret leaving. I went to West Brom, now I'm with Wigan, and I love it.
"You never know what might have happened but for the injuries, but the facts are they happened and my time was hindered.
"As I say, I'm not sour. I just hope I get a good reception from the Kop, that would be nice.
"But the most important thing is I simply play well for Wigan."