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Feb 3, 2011

Carroll: I will justify Reds price tag

Andrew Carroll has assured Liverpool fans he is ready to put his off-field troubles behind him to justify his British record transfer fee at Anfield.

Carroll promises to clean up image

• Dalglish: Reds quartet will frighten
• Liverpool 2-0 Stoke: Suarez stars
• Carroll vows to bring goals • Hubbard: Reds break with recent past
• First XI: Leaving Liverpool

Carroll delivered his first press conference on Thursday, sat alongside manager Kenny Dalglish and new strike partner Luis Suarez, following his £35 million move from Newcastle.

The England forward has grabbed headlines, both for his footballing capabilities - scoring 11 goals in 19 games this season - and for his disciplinary issues, after he pleaded guilty to a recent charge of assault. However, Carroll insists he is ready to focus on his game in order to fill the famous number nine jersey at Anfield.

"I feel I'm ready," he told gathered journalists. "I've settled down and I know what I need to do, I need to concentrate on my football.

"It was a lot of money but I'm sure I can do what I need to justify that. I score goals and create chances and that's what I'll aim to do. I've scored goals at Newcastle, and I hope to do the same here.

"Fernando Torres was a great player, but I need to concentrate on my game. My ambition is to win stuff, and everyone is confident we can do that."

Carroll was unveiled to the Kop on Wednesday ahead of Liverpool's victory over Stoke, but he is unlikely to play for another month due to a thigh problem. The striker admits he does not know what is causing the injury, but he hopes to repay his new supporters as soon as possible.

"I'm working hard at Melwood, I just need to get my fitness up. It's a thigh strain, but I've just got to wait a few weeks and see how it is," explained Carroll. "It was a fantastic reception, the fans have been great with me. It's a great feeling."

Dalglish backed Carroll to deliver for the Reds and blasted the striker's detractors in the wake of questions about his ability to justify his price tag.

"We're a bit more upbeat about Andy Carroll joining than you are. Every question you ask has negativity in it," Dalglish said. "I don't see any reason to be negative in any way, shape or form about Andy Carroll signing for Liverpool Football Club. It's a great signing for us, as is the signing of Luis [Suarez], it's fantastic for us.

"We can assure Andy we're far more positive than yourselves are. We are looking forward to getting him fit, up and ready, and I'm sure he's anxious to play as well. It might be a few weeks, but we didn't sign him for a few weeks. We signed him for five and a half years."

Dalglish began life without Torres with a 2-0 victory over Stoke on Wednesday, his third straight win sweetened by a third consecutive clean sheet, not to mention a debut goal from Suarez. Now he wants to add Carroll into his improving Liverpool side.

"Andy has huge potential, he's already in the England squad, and he is the best player we could have got for the position. Everybody in here has to justify their wages and their costs, so if you lot can do that for yourselves, I'm sure you can do it for us."

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