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Oct 1, 2010

Kuyt sees future in strike partnership with Torres

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt believes his striker partnership with Fernando Torres has a future despite the pair drawing a blank in the goalless Europa League draw in Utrecht.

• FC Utrecht 0-0 Liverpool
• Hodgson happy despite stalemate

The home side created the best chances, with Dries Mertens being denied by goalkeeper Jose Reina and Raul Meireles clearing Michael Silverbauer's header off the line.

Torres had one genuine chance midway through the second half when Kuyt crossed to the near post but the Spaniard's first-time shot was well saved by goalkeeper Michel Form - although referee Duarte Gomes did not spot the touch and awarded a goal-kick.

Torres has spent most of his Liverpool career playing up front on his own with a rampaging Steven Gerrard in the attacking role behind him but in the last two matches he has had Kuyt as a partner. The two combined for Kuyt's controversial opening goal against Sunderland at the weekend but the Dutchman is yet to return the favour.

"We created a good chance together and against Sunderland and West Brom it worked well so I think we can play well together, but last night wasn't the best game for us or the team,'' said Kuyt. ''It's just a matter of time for Fernando. I said that after the Sunderland game when people were talking about him not scoring, but he still provided two assists. Last night he missed a chance but he is human and can miss chances like everyone else. I'm sure his goals will come.''

Kuyt's return to his first professional club was not the spectacular homecoming he was hoping for as Liverpool were on the back foot for long periods. However, the Holland international believes a draw at the Stadion Galgenwaard, where the hosts had won their previous six matches, was a worthy one.

"It was a really tough game. It was difficult from the start. We didn't play our best game but we will keep fighting,'' he added. ''We created some good chances but so did they, so I think we have to be happy with a 0-0. We can take confidence from this and we will keep fighting. I think the good thing is that we got a clean sheet. An away draw in Europe isn't too bad and we have four points from two games, so we just have to keep going and win on Sunday (against Blackpool).''

Manager Roy Hodgson did not think his side's performance was as bad as it appeared from the stands.

"I thought the problems we had, if we had any at all, and the occasions when they created chances were of our own making,'' he said. "Utrecht did well, they were determined, aggressive and committed, so we knew we had to be at our best defensively to keep them out and fortunately we did. You could quite easily see today why Utrecht have such a good home record.''

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