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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 25, 2006

Gerrard hails new signing Bellamy

Skipper Steven Gerrard admits it was a 'nightmare' playing against Craig Bellamy - and he is relieved the Welshman is now in a Liverpool shirt.

Gerrard returned to full training yesterday along with England colleagues Peter Crouch and Jamie Carragher and will fly out to Switzerland today for a training camp and three friendlies.

And the 26-year-old is clearly delighted that £6million man Bellamy will be fighting Liverpool's corner next season rather than terrorising them in the Premiership.

Gerrard said: 'It's a nightmare playing against Craig Bellamy, he has fantastic ability and I am just glad he's on our side now and not against us.

'And now he will be playing in an even better side than he has been before, we are all excited to play alongside Craig and we hope he will score a lot of goals.

'But it is my responsibility to make sure he gets a load of chances. Yes, I know he's not short of a word or two but he's a great character and I am not interested it what people say about him off the pitch.

'I know he's a great player and a really good signing for us. I am sure he will have a good Liverpool career.

'I hear the manager has talked of him being expected to score 15 or more, but any centre forward in the Premiership will have set himself a target and I am sure Craig is no different.

'But there is the responsibility for all the midfield to create chances for all the forwards.'

And Gerrard believes that the arrival of Bellamy, and the other new Liverpool signings, will push the club closer to champions Chelsea next season.

He said: 'To get to Chelsea we must improve on last season and for the new players who have arrived - and there may be one more - to bring something to the squad and strengthen on what we already have.

'We must make sure we are confident and we must believe we can do it or it won't happen.

'I'd like to think this club is on the brink of something special, there is a lot of players in the dressing room who are missing the Premier League title from their CV having won virtually everything else.

'You can be sure that we will be pushing in the right direction to achieve that because I am desperate to hold that trophy above my head.

'You cannot achieve the Premiership crown with just individuals, it has to be a team. Chelsea have proved that over the last two seasons.

'I know they have got great individual players but they all work hard for the team and that is what we are trying to achieve here.

'I agree with Rafa (Benitez). Individuals will win you one or two games but a team wins you trophies.'