Tag Archives: hitman

Peter Crouch seen with black eye while out with Abbey Clancy

Where did you get that shiner, Crouch Stoke striker spotted with black eye after ending goal drought

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:56 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:31 GMT, 23 April 2013

Having returned to his previous club last weekend, it looks like Peter Crouch may have picked up a few battle scars to get back to scoring ways.

The Stoke striker netted just his second goal since September when he struck at relegation threatened QPR on Saturday, but he has since emerged with a mystery black eye.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

The former England international was seen leaving Liverpool Dental Spa today with his wife Abbey Clancy, who is a regular, and daughter Sophia where the bruise underneath his right eye was clear to see.

Having started the season with five goals from his first seven games, Crouch’s season has tailed off, with his only goal before Saturday coming in a 2-2 draw with Wigan in January.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had backed the former Tottenham hitman to rediscover his scoring touch, as he said before the QPR game: There's been a while, especially after his injury, where Peter has not performed to the level he was at before.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

‘He had a good start to the season and looked a real handful. Hopefully he will be back to what he was in the next five games.’

Crouch came off with a minute to go at QPR but should be in line to face Norwich at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

Luis Suarez to Manchester United? No just dodgy lookalike of Champions League heartbreaker Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Suarez to United No – just a dodgy lookalike of Champions League heartbreaker Ronaldo

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

12:46 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 6 March 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo received a rapturous ovation on his return to Old Trafford as Real Madrid toppled Manchester United in the Champions League last night.

But he might be less pleased with the merchandise on sale outside the Theatre of Dreams – because it makes him look like Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

Scroll down for post-match reaction

Doppelganger: This United fans' scarf (left), on sale before last night's Champions League exit to Real Madrid, looks more like Luis Suarez - the hitman for arch-rivals Liverpool - than the former Old Trafford hero

Doppelganger: This United fans' scarf (left), on sale before last night's Champions League exit to Real Madrid, looks more like Luis Suarez – the hitman for arch-rivals Liverpool – than the former Old Trafford hero

A scarf meant to depict the former United favourite is a dead ringer for United’s arch rivals’ talisman Suarez, complete with No 7, which Ronaldo shares with the Uruguayan.

Ronaldo scored the winner in Madrid’s 2-1 win, and displayed his love for his previous employers by not celebrating his goal.

He was even looking glum at the airport this morning and apologised for knocking his former club out of the competition.

Suarez

Ronaldo

Dead ringer Uruguayan striker Suarez (left), and Ronaldo (right), looking glum after scoring last night

Welcome home: A young United fan greets the Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for Madrid in 2009

Welcome home: A young United fan greets the Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for Madrid in 2009

The fans responded by celebrating their former hero’s return last night, holding up banners calling for him to move back to Old Trafford.

Whether anyone bought this scarf, though, for fear of being outed as a closet Kopite, is unknown.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Phelan deals with Fergie fall-out

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Real Madrid v Manchester United: Ruud van Nistelrooy says match will be decided by Cristiano Ronaldo or Robin van Persie

United v Real No, it's Ronaldo against Van Persie, insists legend Van Nistelrooy

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

16:57 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 8 February 2013

Ruud van Nistelrooy believes the respective performances of Robin van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo will be key to the outcome of the Champions League last-16 showdown between his former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Van Nistelrooy, who spent five years at United before moving to Madrid in 2006 for a four-year spell at the Bernabeu, finds it impossible to pick a favourite between the two European superpowers and believes the tie will be settled by the 'smallest details'.

To that end he has singled out United hitman Van Persie and Madrid's former Old Trafford forward Ronaldo as the deciding factors.

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo

Deadly: Robin van Persie

Star men: Cristiano Ronaldo (left) or Robin van Persie could decide the Champions League tie

'For me the difference will be the form of Cristiano and Van Persie. I think that one of these two players will make the difference,' Van Nistelrooy told Marca.

'Both teams are doing very well. I think Madrid have improved a lot in recent weeks. Taking away the Granada game (1-0 loss) I see a strong team, who played very well against Barca and who show their best in the big games.

'I think the tie will be decided by the smallest details.'

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

What about me Wayne Rooney, who scored for England this week, has found a run of form

What about me Wayne Rooney, who scored for England this week, has found a run of form

The 36-year-old Dutchman feels Madrid, who are looking for a record 10th European Cup crown, boast more quality than Sir Alex Ferguson's side but has warned the Spanish giants that United's 'lethal' strikeforce of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will take some stopping.

'I think they (Madrid) have more quality on the pitch. But United win and win every week. They trail 2-0 and fight back, they go 1-0 up and control the game.

'United are very much a team. They defend all together and then play for Van Persie and Rooney.

'Madrid, due to injuries, have not been able to create such a solid group and be able to repeat the same team every week.

'Pepe and Marcelo have been injured, (Gonzalo) Higuain and (Karim) Benzema haven't been doing well, (Angel) Di Maria doesn't always play…The injury to Iker (Casillas) doesn't help either because he's always there and very experienced.

Clinical: Ronaldo has an incredible scoring record for Real Madrid, who he joined for 82million from Manchester United

Clinical: Ronaldo has an incredible scoring record for Real Madrid, who he joined for 82million from Manchester United

The difference: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini believe the addition of Van Persie has propelled United to the top

The difference: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini believe the addition of Van Persie has propelled United to the top

'It will be a very interesting game.'

Asked what Madrid need to fear, Van Nistelrooy said: 'United don't need many chances to score. Give one to Van Persie and Rooney and it's going in. They don't miss. And the problem is that they always create something.

'They are a lethal pair.'

The first leg takes place at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Returning hero: Ronaldo will play against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2009

Returning hero: Ronaldo will play against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2009

Arsene Wenger is preparing a bid for Edinson Cavani

Wenger admits Arsenal could drop Cavani move after being quoted staggering 91m

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

12:39 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 18 January 2013

Arsene Wenger has admitted his admiration for Edinson Cavani – but the Arsenal manager would be forced to shatter the club’s financial structure to sign the striker.

The total cost of landing the Napoli hitman could amount to a staggering 91million.

Speaking at the club’s London Colney HQ, Wenger admitted: ‘He is a player I like. He would cost a lot of money that’s for sure.

Main man: Napoli's Edinson Cavani is wanted by a host of top clubs

Main man: Napoli's Edinson Cavani is wanted by a host of top clubs

‘We can spend the money but I do not want to speak about Cavani because we have not made an enquiry for him.’

The Frenchman was asked the question amid fresh speculation linking the Gunners with the Uruguay international.

Wenger is fan of the forward but knows he’d have to stretch the club’s financial boundaries to land Cavani.

In addition to the 25-year-old has a 52million release clause, he would demand a five-year deal worth a minimum of 150,000-per-week.

Show me the money: Arsene Wenger is ready to spend big again at Arsenal

Show me the money: Arsene Wenger is ready to spend big again at Arsenal

Lukas Podolski is Arsenal’s current top earner on 90,000-per-week, while the capture of Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg for 15million remains their record signing.

Mega-rich Chelsea pulled their interest in Cavani over the summer due to the mammoth cost of bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

And whether Arsenal are prepared to smash their financial records to bring Cavani to London remains to be seen.

Red hot: Cavani has 23 goals in 22 games in all competitions this season

Red hot: Cavani has 23 goals in 22 games in all competitions this season

Miroslav Stoch wins goal of the year

What a screamer! Stoch beats Neymar and Falcao to goal of the year

FIFA Puskas award for his stunning volley for Fenerbahce against Genclerbirligi.

The Slovak beat Neymar's goal for Santos and Radamel Falcao's strike for Atletico Madrid to win the award on Monday at FIFA's Ballon D'Or, where Lionel Messi was crowned player of the year.

Scroll down for video

Winner: Stoch collects the FIFA Puskas award

Winner: Stoch collects the FIFA Puskas award

But although the Slovakian Stoch, who plays for
Turkish side Fenerbahce, is not as highly-rated as the
other two, his goal certainly deserves the praise.

Stoch kept his cool and his balance to superbly volley into the top corner from the edge of the box against Genclerbirligi in a Turkish Super Lig match.

VIDEO: Watch Stoch's wonder strike

Here is who Stoch beat to the award

Radamel Falcao

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ridiculous overhead kick against England missed the cut-off date but that sort of athleticism is on display in Falcao's effort against America de Cali.

Again reacting first to a corner, Atletico Madrid's Colombian hitman Falcao flung his body into the air and sent a vicious strike past the bewildered goalkeeper.

Neymar

Neymar's goal is a different type to the other two, its brilliance coming in the form of a hip twisting, dizzying dribble.

Showing poise, grace and fearlessness the Santos star weaved his way in and out of Internacional players before tucking the ball neatly home.

The skill involved in his solo effort is no surprise – the Brazilian won the 2011 Puskas award for a wonderful goal against Flamengo.

And the rest of the FIFA Puskas award nominees

Demba Ba latest: Alan Pardew says Newcastle coped with losing Andy Carroll and can do same again

Wages row wrecks Ba's transfer to Chelsea as Newcastle bid to keep him

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UPDATED:

15:23 GMT, 31 December 2012

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was defiant in the face of the ongoing transfer saga surrounding striker Demba Ba.

He said that the club had coped with the departure of Andy Carroll to Liverpool and would be able to do the same again if Ba leaves.

The Senegal international has been offered a new deal by the Magpies but was involved in talks with Chelsea last night because they activated his 7m release fee clause.

Sticky spot: Alan Pardew feels sorry for Demba Ba (centre)

Sticky spot: Alan Pardew feels sorry for Demba Ba (centre)

But the deal broke down because of the
hitman's wage demands.

Pardew said: 'I've been in a situation where we lost Andy Carroll, and to a great extent, maybe we were weaker then than we are now.

'So we've coped with it before and we'll cope with it again if we have to. But ideally we want him to stay, and hopefully he will play on Wednesday and play well. Then we go to Brighton on Saturday.'

He continued: 'I feel bit sorry for
Demba because people out there fuelling it are not involved. The contract
is what it is and as manager I want it to be resolved.

'There is a contract for him to sign
and it is getting close to the point where we say no more but the offer
is still there. I want him to stay.

'It has been a saga since the summer
and the way the contract was drawn up at the time means we can't get out
of it, but I understand why it was that way at the time.

'I still think in this window he will stay because of the situtation we are in, but that will be up to him.

'The contract terms have been bandied
around which has not helped and people are getting involved who have no
right to be involved.

'It is difficult for our fans because
they love him and they want him to play in a black and white shirt – we
look potent again.'

The Magpies signed the striker from West Ham after the east London side were relegated in 2011.

Ba scored 16 goals in 34 Barclays
Premier League appearances last season but his relationship with
Pardew soured in September.

Hopeful: The Toon boss would love to keep Ba on Tyneside

Hopeful: The Toon boss would love to keep Ba on Tyneside

He felt he was being played out of position while Papiss Cisse took the central striker's spot in Newcastle's team.

However, despite his frustrations and
the uncertainty over his future, he has still managed an excellent 13
top flight goals this term.

Pardew continued: 'One thing I don't have to worry about is Demba's mental state. He is one of the strongest footballers I have ever come across.

'He had disappointments in his early career with bad injuries and the way some clubs treated him but he can have no complaints about how we have treated him.

'We have been brilliant for him. I hope he rewards us by staying for another couple of years.'

Chris Wood will sign for Leicester for 1.5m

Foxes snare 1.5m West Brom hitman Wood to aid promotion push

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 27 December 2012

Leicester have won the battle to sign Chris Wood after
agreeing a 1.5million deal with West Brom for the free-scoring New Zealand
striker.

Wood has been in prolific form during a loan spell with
Millwall, who were anxious to turn his temporary stay into a permanent transfer and were competing with Leicester, Huddersfield and several other
clubs for his signature.

But the 21-year old has opted for Championship promotion
chasers Leicester and will be confirmed as a Foxes’ player shortly.

Goal machine: Chris Wood has been in fine fettle for Milwall

Goal machine: Chris Wood has been in fine fettle for Milwall

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson bemoaned his side’s lack of
a cutting edge after seeing them follow a 1-0 home defeat by Cardiff with a
goalless draw at Hull on Boxing Day.

He was adamant that the addition of more firepower could
prove vital to their promotion prospects and admitted he was hopeful of a
transfer breakthrough in the next few days.

Though he played down speculation
that he was closing in on Wood, the burly West Brom target man was always his
main priority and is now heading to the East Midlands to bolster Leicester’s
promotion push.

Wayne Rooney injured for three weeks with knee injury

Rooney sidelined for up to three weeks in blow for title-chasing United boss Ferguson

|

UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 26 December 2012

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be sidelined for between two and three weeks after sustaining knee ligament damage in training.

The England forward was missing from the line up for the Red Devils' 4-3 victory over Newcastle today.

After his poor performance against Swansea on Sunday, Ferguson would have loved the hitman to come out swinging against Newcastle, but could not select him due to injury.

Sidelined: An injured Wayne Rooney watched on from an executive box at Old Trafford as United won 4-3

Sidelined: An injured Wayne Rooney watched on from an executive box at Old Trafford as United won 4-3

Will United miss Rooney

Opta statistics from the last two seasons of Premier League football indicate that Javier Hernandez will be able to step up to the mark in Rooney's absence.

Although he has scored under half the number of goals, his minutes per goal average is close to Rooney's.

This is because he has only started 22 games – exactly half of the number Rooney has.

Played
Goals
Min per goal
Van Persie
57
43
113.6
Rooney
48
34
115.4
Hernandez
40
16
124.0
Welbeck
43
10
257.9

'After his performance on Sunday I
think he would have been brilliant today. You don't have two
performances like he did on Sunday,' said Ferguson. 'Unfortunately we couldn't risk him.'

He continued: 'It was a volley towards the end of training. He did a ligament at the back of his knee and could be out for two to three weeks.'

Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez stepped up to the mark in Rooney's absence, both scoring as United managed to grab three points from a topsy-turvy game.

Danny Welbeck also missed the game after reporting an illness last night.

Rooney had performed fitfully this season – some of his better performances have actually come in central midfield rather than in his favoured striker's position.

Lethal: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the thriller against Newcastle

Lethal: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the thriller against Newcastle

Rooney will miss Premier League
matches against West Brom and Wigan, in addition to the FA Cup third
round tie at West Ham on January 5.

He also faces a race against time to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13.

Ferguson continued: 'Danny Welbeck took ill in the team hotel last night.
'Ashley Young also got injured yesterday and Phil Jones got injured against Swansea.'

Tucked away: Robin van Persie has been at his imperious best for the last two seasons now

Tucked away: Robin van Persie has been at his imperious best for the last two seasons now

Skipper Nemanja Vidic was back on the bench today but Ferguson did not want to use him after the centre-back made his first start since September at the Liberty Stadium.

'We couldn't risk Vida after playing his first game,' said Ferguson.

'He had a bit of soreness in his knee, which is only to be expected after being out for so long.'

Steven Fletcher fit for Sunderland v Southampton

Sunderland hitman Fletcher shakes off ankle injury ahead of Saints relegation battle

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 20 December 2012

Sunderland top scorer Steven Fletcher has handed Martin O’Neill a welcome boost and will be fit to face Southampton after a full week of training.

The Scotland international has been struggling with an ankle injury and he was forced off in last week’s defeat at Manchester United.

His return to full fitness is vital for Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill ahead of Saturday’s visit to Southampton and stand-in skipper John O’Shea has now urged his team-mates to match Fletcher’s outstanding standards this season.

Goal machine: Steven Fletcher is fit for Sunderland as they travel down south

Goal machine: Steven Fletcher is fit for Sunderland as they travel down south

Fletcher has scored seven goals since his 12million switch from Wolves, and has been one of the Wearside club’s most consistent performers along with Danny Rose and Simon Mignolet.

Republic of Ireland international O’Shea has accepted Sunderland have been a let-down this season and have been embroiled in a relegation fight before a Christmas period which includes home clashes with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: 'Thankfully we have got Steven Fletcher. I don’t know where we would be without his goals.

'He came here with a bit of a price-tag on his head, he settled in straight away, he’s a great lad who works hard. The manager has said he is a quiet lad who doesn’t say much but as long as he is scoring goals he can stay as quiet as he likes.

'His finishing is top drawer as he has shown with his goals. They have been really top class finishes. He has had to deal with having a big price-tag in his next few moves but that has not affected him one bit.

'Fingers crossed we keep him fit as much as we can. He has had a few little niggles but nothing major, thankfully. It’s up to the rest of the lads now.

Leader: John O'Shea will take over as captain in Lee Cattermole's absence

Leader: John O'Shea will take over as captain in Lee Cattermole's absence

'I’m sure Steven himself will want to
improve and he can do better. It’s about the whole team and squad –
especially when the manager makes or two changes, which he will during
this period.’

Sunderland
have won just three Premier League games in 25 under O’Neill and were
dragged into the bottom three earlier in the month.

O’Shea, who will captain the side at Southampton on Saturday in Lee Cattermole’s absence, believes a major improvement is within Sunderland’s capabilities.

He added: 'We keep talking after games about finishing well, but we have zero points from them. We can’t keep saying that and we have to make sure we do our jobs for the 90 minutes. We can’t keep doing what we doing or the end of the season will come round very quickly.

Pressure: Martin O'Neill has endured a tough season so far

Pressure: Martin O'Neill has endured a tough season so far

'The season has been stop-start. You think you are getting yourself going, then you suffer a defeat you’re not expecting and there’s a lot of room for improvement. There definitely is. We are not incapable of doing it.

'The top ten is not far away. We have seen where a team like Norwich have shot up the table with a good run and we are more than capable of that.

'You obviously hope at the start of the season you are up there competing for European positions and you are doing brilliantly but the reality is we were having a tough time last season as well.

'We are still in that tough spot at the minute. We will have to keep ourselves together to get out of it but we know we have the people and the manager to do it.'

Luis Suarez is second only to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

There's Messi and Ronaldo, then there's Suarez: Comolli puts Liverpool striker up there with world's best

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UPDATED:

09:18 GMT, 14 December 2012

Liverpool hitman Luis Suarez is only behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in world football, according to Damien Comolli.

The club’s former director of football believes that Suarez’s ability to both score and create goals puts him up there with the world's best.

Comolli oversaw the 22million signing of Suarez from Ajax, as well as the 35million deal for Andy Carroll from Newcastle before his departure from Liverpool earlier this year.

Up there with the best: Damien Comolli believes Luis Suarez (left) is in the bracket below Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Up there with the best: Damien Comolli believes Luis Suarez (left) is in the bracket below Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

The Uruguayan striker has been in exceptional form this season. The 25-year-old is the joint third top goalscorer in the Premier League (alongside Manchester United’s Robin van Persie) with 10 goals.

But Comolli believes Suarez isn’t too far behind Messi, who has scored a record 88 goals this calendar year for Barcelona, and Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo.

Comolli told The Times: ‘Suarez is in a group of players behind Messi and Ronaldo. If you take those two out of the frame and think of how much we could have got for him then he is in that second group of players.

‘He is a top player, a top person. It is rare to see someone who creates as much as he does and scores as many as he does.

‘When we signed him I said he is a 15 to 18-goals-a-season player in the Premier League, but then he will give you so much more in terms of what he creates.’

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes last weekend provided a 'defining moment' which shows his side can compete with the best.

Trailing 2-1 to West Ham, having been a goal up, the Reds scored twice in the last 14 minutes to secure their first back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins for almost a year.

Sandwiched between was a crucial 1-0 victory over Udinese which ensured their passage into to the knockout stage of the Europa League and Rodgers sees progress.

'We reached another defining moment at the weekend against West Ham,' he said.

A class apart Messi (right) has scored a record 88 goals in 2012

A class apart Messi (right) has scored a record 88 goals in 2012

Superstar: Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid for a staggering 82million in 2009

Superstar: Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid for a staggering 82million in 2009

'There's a golden period at the end of a game – the last 15 minutes – which the best teams can affect.

'When we were down we showed the spirit and fight we have in the group to come back and win the game.

'We showed that away at Udinese – to get through in a game that we had to win.

'The pressure on that game was that we had to win or get knocked out and we won the game and kept a clean sheet.

'We have little benchmarks that we're setting along the way. The best teams start quick and finish strong – we did that at the weekend.

'I'm pleased with how it's evolving – we're a long way off where I want us to be, of course, but we've shown we're making good progress.

'/12/14/article-2247947-1662D3ED000005DC-121_634x411.jpg” width=”634″ height=”411″ alt=”In action: Suarez has been prolific for Liverpool this season ” class=”blkBorder” />

In action: Suarez has been prolific for Liverpool this season

'I hope that we finish this year strongly,' he added.

'We can then go into the next six months and push on, because that's when you take care of business and in particular the last 10 games.

'If we can arrive in January in and around that top four then we can really put our foot to the floor, when the confidence will be improved even more and players will be aligned with what we're trying to achieve.

'I believe we can have a good second half of the season.'

Getting better: Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side have improved recently

Getting better: Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side have improved recently

Getting better: Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side have improved recently

Goalkeeper Brad Jones has signed a new contract after admitting he did not know whether he had a future at the start of the season.

However, having ably filled in for a month when Jose Reina was injured the Australia international has earned an extended stay – and the backing of Rodgers.

'When he came in I don't think he was too sure about whether I was going to stay or not and I had to prove to him I was worthy of being here,' Jones told liverpoolfc.com.

'He was very honest with me at the start and said maybe things weren't going to work out.

'But he was then just as honest to come and say to me I'd done well and proved myself to him.'