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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2006

Fowler back with his 'first love'

Robbie Fowler believes he can turn back the clock and re-create another golden era for himself at Liverpool.

And defying the critics who doubt he can still handle the top flight by insisting: 'I always have confidence in what I can do.'

But the 30-year-old, who has seen his four years away from Anfield and Leeds and Manchester City dogged by continual injuries, admits he is looking for words of wisdom from Rafael Benitez to boost his dream move back to his hometown club.

Fowler, who has signed an initial six-month deal after a free transfer from Manchester City, says he wants an injection of the faith the Spanish boss gave to the Liverpool team in Istanbul.

Fowler was in the stadium that night as a fan watching the astonishing recovery against AC Milan.

As comebacks go that was just as improbable as Fowler's return to his spiritual home in the twilight of his career.

Fowler said: 'In Istanbul I was like any Liverpool supporter, I just wanted to be on the pitch. But to be honest I felt it was game over at half-time.

'I don't know what Mr Benitez said to them but I hope he can use them (words of inspiration) for me now and he will get the right response.'

The beaming smile that does not seem to have left Fowler's face since the deal was done on Friday is testimony to how much he wants this return to work out.

He said: 'If you pray enough for things, I am proof that they can happen. I feel like a kid on Christmas day now, every day.

'Now I want to repay the manager's faith in bringing me back, it's great to be here.

'You can all tell by the look on my face how much I wanted to come back. It's something I've wanted for a long time and now I'm here.

'It would be wrong to say I was not motivated anywhere else but if a club of Liverpool's stature comes in for you then you have to react.

'Because of the past I have had here it means a lot more than anyone else.

'At the moment I feel fit but the rest is up to the manager and what he decides. I have missed a large part of the season because of a back injury but I feel good. Everything is OK now.'

Fowler also revealed that Manchester City chief Stuart Pearce pulled a prank on the former England striker before the deal went through.

Fowler said: 'The City people looked in my eyes and they knew what I wanted. This is as much to do with their help as anyone else.

'City were great about it all. Stuart Pearce had always known deep down I wanted to come back.

'Stuart actually scared me at one stage by saying he wanted a small fee. He said he wanted £2m. I thought 'no, it's never going to happen.' Then he said he was just pulling my leg.'

Fowler can expect a heroes' welcome when he trots out in the squad to play Birmingham at Anfield on Wednesday, although Benitez insists that the player is not fit enough yet for a full 90 minutes.

Fowler said: 'It is something I had dreamed about for a long time and never felt it would happen. Liverpool means everything to me, I had played for the club for a long time and then away for four years.

'People say you don't miss things until they've gone. I am just delighted it has happened.

'Everyone, all the family, are so pleased for me. When I left the first time they were all gutted and they have all been praying 24/7 to get me back and it has paid off.

'At the moment I feel fine, coming back has given me a big buzz. Just put 90 minutes in front of me now and I will run and run.

'I'm confident in what I can do, I can score goals and run about. If the manager needs me in any capacity I will help them out.

'I don't think the expectation is that high, really. People know me and where I am in terms of my career, and the fans know what I can do and I know what I can do. If I can achieve a third of what I did here last time, it will be happy days.

He added: 'I've always loved Liverpool, deep down you are still a Liverpool boy. Coming back is something I have wanted to do ever since I left.

'That may sound disrespectful to Leeds and Manchester City, but I think I did reasonably well at both. At Leeds I scored one in two games, at City it was one in three.

'People said I was a flop at both places but I think I did OK. But to come back to Liverpool is what dreams are made of.'

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