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Upstarts City seek Champions League ticket

Premier Soccer League
Leg 1
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By ESPN Staff

Dudek knows it's over after Carling Cup horror

Jerzy Dudek has revealed his bitter frustration at his part in Liverpool's cup nightmare just as the club seem prepared to replace him.

The Polish goalkeeper has played in both cup ties against Arsenal over four days, conceded nine goals and seen Liverpool's dreams of FA Cup and Carling Cup glory destroyed.

In fact, his past three Liverpool matches - including the Champions League game away to Galatasaray last month - have seen him concede 12 goals, a third of the goals the club has conceded so far in 35 matches in all competitions this term.

With his contract running out in the summer, the hero of Liverpool's Champions League triumph in Istanbul may well never play another match for the club, with the expected arrival this week of Italian Under-21 goalkeeper Daniele Padelli on loan.

The youngster was expected to have a medical today, and would become Reina's deputy, pushing Dudek further down the pecking order.

Negotiations over the arrival of Padelli have been going on for a few weeks, but the irony of a possible conclusion to the deal 24 hours after Dudek's horror show in the 6-3 defeat by Arsenal in the Carling Cup, will not be lost on the 34-year-old.

For now, though, Dudek can only agonise over the way his Liverpool career is coming to an end.

He said: 'I am devastated and disappointed. The last time I let in six goals I was very young.

'I wanted to take my opportunity in these two cup ties and build some confidence after six or seven months without much football, then you face a side like Arsenal. It is very difficult.

'For a goalkeeper you need experience but you can never beat confidence. Arsenal had a different team from Saturday, but they have some very talented and skilful players.

'We knew it would be a good opportunity for some of our young lads as well to show their ability.

'I suppose this should be like taking a cold shower for us, to wake us up. Now we need to fight as much as we can in the Premiership and take that into the Champions League in February.'

He added: 'We hardly ever conceded goals yet in two games we have conceded nine.

'This is very strange not just for the team but for me. I have not played regularly and was hoping to get something out of the games. But I am very disappointed.

'I do not expect anything in terms of more games because a goalkeeper (Jose Reina) was brought in after the Champions League final and the situation was clear for me.

'It is difficult for a goalkeeper like me to be second goalkeeper and to wait months for your chance. This experience I do not need, just sitting on the bench and watching games.

'But it looks like I will be here for the rest of the season. Privately I am happy but it is very difficult for a player when you are not playing games.

'If you are playing one game in two months it is difficult to show your quality. But we will see what happens.'