Dirk Kuyt won't hold back against former club Utrecht
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt is relishing a return to the club where he made his professional debut but there will be no sentimentality when he runs out at Utrecht's Stadion Galgenwaard.
The 30-year-old had a five-year spell at Utrecht between 1998 and 2003 before he left for Feyenoord and ultimately Anfield. He admits this is a trip he has been looking forward to since the draw pitted the two teams together in Group K.
"It means a lot to go back. They are the club that gave me the opportunity to play professional football,'' Kuyt said. "I had five years there and really enjoyed it. I was really happy for the opportunity they gave me.
"I don't know a lot of players there now but I know a few guys who work at the club so it'll be nice to go back and see them.''
Unlike some players returning to their former clubs, Kuyt has no plans to mute his joy should he score.
"I think if you score a goal you always have to celebrate,'' he said. "That is not disrespectful to the team you played for before. When I scored for Feyenoord here I celebrated.''
Kuyt knows a victory, to add to their opening win over Steaua Bucharest, will make life much easier for the Reds as they look to clinch progression from the group as soon as possible.
"If we beat Utrecht in Utrecht, it will be great because we would have six points in the group already and we would almost be in the next round,'' he said. "They have had some great results there, like beating Celtic 4-0. The 0-0 result in their first group game against Napoli was decent too.
"They seem to make it very difficult for big teams. If you ask the Ajax players if they like going to Utrecht, then everyone would say 'no' because it's very difficult to get a good result there.''