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Feb 21, 2012

Carroll ready to deliver for Reds

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll believes he is finally ready to justify his £35 million transfer fee after a Man of the Match performance at the weekend.

• Dalglish hopeful over Agger and Bellamy
• Bellamy to make final Wales appearance

Carroll, who became the most expensive British player in history when he moved from Newcastle on transfer deadline day in January last year, enjoyed his best game for Liverpool in the 6-1 FA Cup drubbing of Brighton, scoring the third goal.

The 23-year-old has been criticised for a lack of goals and match sharpness since his move to Anfield but the injury problems that initially blighted his Liverpool career now seem to have abated and the striker is starting to hit form.

Sunday's win over Championship visitors Brighton was also the first time he, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez's had started a game together. And Carroll is feeling much better about himself after two goals in four matches - and three since the turn of the year - which has doubled his tally to six for the season.

"I feel like I am doing well. I have just started scoring goals and I am doing well in games. I think it has all come together," said the England international.

Asked whether this was now the best he had felt since moving to Merseyside he added: "Without a doubt and I think it shows in my performances. (I'm) getting around the pitch a bit more, getting involved. I am happy, more confident and things are going all right.

"The whole team played well (against Brighton) and I was delighted to get a goal and obviously so for Luis (who also scored after missing a penalty) as well."

More Championship opposition awaits next weekend in the form of Cardiff when Liverpool travel to Wembley for their first final in five years.

The team could not have had better preparation for the Carling Cup showpiece, having bounced back from a league defeat at arch-rivals Manchester United, and Carroll knows competition for places in the final will be fierce.

"It is a massive game and I think all the lads are looking forward to it. Hopefully we can get the win," he said. "I have never been to a cup final. That is all I am looking forward to, getting there. It is a great feeling and hopefully we can win it.

"We have got a massive squad and everyone can play a part in it. We are such a good team that you could pick anyone.

"You have just got to work hard. The manager picks the team at the end of the day. If we can get the trophy it would be great."

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