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Adam ready for Anfield bow

Ambitious Charlie Adam cannot wait to start his Liverpool career in earnest after his big money move from Blackpool.

• Henry tagets top four
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Liverpool fans will not have fond memories of Adam's last appearance at Anfield, considering he scored one of the goals in Blackpool's stunning 2-1 win last October, but on Saturday he will wear the red of Liverpool in a pre-season game against Valencia - which is being shown live on ESPN in the UK.

This time it will be the vast majority of the crowd which will be singing his name, rather than a small contingent tucked away at the Anfield Road end.

Adam, who scored 12 goals and provided eight assists for relegated Blackpool last season, cannot wait to play for Liverpool in front of the Kop for the first time, and has spoken about his delight at earning a move to one of the country's biggest clubs.

"No disrespect to Blackpool but the size of this club is ginormous," he told the press. "It's one of the top ones in the world, one of the elite.

"There aren't many who would get nearly 40,000 fans watching a training session, 80,000 watching a friendly [in Hong Kong].

"The reception in Asia, the whole thing, was incredible and shows the size of this place. But that's the expectation of being here. You look at the history of the club - with Bill Shankly and onwards they have always won trophies. It's just massive and a real honour to have the opportunity of playing for them."

Manager Kenny Dalglish added the personal touch in making sure he signed Adam - personally travelling to pick the player up and drive him to the training ground to sign.

The £7 million signing said of his move down the west coast: "It was nice to be picked up by him - that doesn't happen too often, getting picked up by Kenny Dalglish and taken to the training ground to sign for Liverpool. I'll try and put a couple of performances in for him to repay him for that.

"And, of course, he's a hero - he's Scottish - but that shows the kind of man he is. He's so down to earth. He's achieved such a lot in the game but still has that buzz about coming back in again.

"It was tough to lose out on the move in January, and yeah, you think you may only have one go at coming to a club like this, so it was a difficult time.

"When you get the chance to come here, you want it to happen. It never did but the people in Blackpool respect the way I dealt with it. I got on with it and tried my best to keep them in the league. But we failed and that's the thing I will always remember.

"I got relegated at Blackpool and I can't hide from that disappointment. So for me to then get the opportunity to come here is incredible.

"I was back in pre-season at Blackpool for just two days and so we didn't have to wash our kit, which was the first time. I think the lads are back to washing their kits again now, though.

"That was the way the club was run and I have total respect for that. It's not a problem washing your own kit, it's part and parcel of life, and I wouldn't complain about it, although it's been good to have someone else do it at Liverpool.

"This club is worldwide, world class and massive, but it was an honour to play for Blackpool and to achieve what we achieved there. Nobody expected it, nobody could imagine it.

"I think it was the biggest achievement in the history of the English game. I really believe that - when you look at the budget the manager had and the players he managed to get it. But when you come through the doors every day of a club like this and see a European trophy sitting there, you realise there are not many clubs like it in the world.

"The expectation here is to win ever week but I've been used to that since I was young. Nothing changes. I was at Rangers at 14 or 15 and knew the club well, but the opportunity to play regularly enough to cement a place wasn't there, which is why I left. People said it was a step down going to Blackpool but I saw it as a step forward.

"Liverpool is another step forward, so I think I have always been on an upward curve. I don't want to rest, though, and think I've arrived now. I want to keep going forward.

"People are comparing me to Xabi Alonso, which is an honour, but I don't want that. He's a top class player, a World Cup winner who has won everything.

"It's great people even think I can come and play like that, but I am not coming in to replace anyone else or be anyone else, I am coming here to be Charlie Adam."

Another of Liverpool's new faces, Stewart Downing, is determined to prove he is worth the reputed £20 million transfer fee. He said: "It's about picking up where I finished off last season with Aston Villa, carrying on my form and not doing anything differently. Just because of the fee, it doesn't mean I have to change.

"I'm being brought in to do what I did at Aston Villa, whether that's on the left or right. I'm not sure where the manager sees me playing but I just want to do well for Liverpool.

"Last season was probably my most consistent season and I just want that to continue. It's a big season for me personally and the club, and I want to get in the England team as well. Hopefully Liverpool will see the best of me.

"This club has high expectations and it's a club that deserves to be in Europe. In the past they've have done very well and I'm sure the players and the manager will want to do well for the owners and get into that top bracket.

"I think we've certainly got the squad now, there's a lot competition for places in a way there maybe hasn't been in the past, so I think it's got to be an aim.

"In the long term the ambition would be to win the league. It doesn't happen overnight, it's a building process and hopefully we've started it with the players Kenny's brought in this summer, along with the top players he already had.

"Speaking to the lads who've been here for a while, they said you can sense the atmosphere around the players and the fans. I think we just need to start well and get the fans on side, and let's have a right good go.''


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