Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

I’m not lacking confidence, blasts under-fire Joe Cole

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole insists there is nothing wrong with his confidence and a run of games in the side will help eradicate his early-season struggles.

The summer free signing from Chelsea was expected to make a big impact at Anfield but so far it has not materialised.

A three-match ban after being sent off in the opening match against Arsenal and a penalty miss in the Europa League four days later was not an auspicious start.

A pulled hamstring at Bolton on October 31 then kept him out for five weeks, with Cole only making his comeback in the 1-1 draw against Steaua Bucharest which qualified Liverpool for the last 32 in the Europa League.

During his time on the sidelines manager Roy Hodgson said he felt the England international had confidence issues, saying: “Joe is not a naturally confident character. He suffers when things are not going his way.”

However, the 29-year-old dismissed concerns about his state of mind, believing that a consistent run of games will soon bring the best out of him.

“No, not at all,” was his response when asked whether his confidence had taken a knock.

“I am happy with everything at Liverpool, I just have to stay fit and keep playing well.

“No footballer likes being injured, it is a pain, but you have to keep going and keep working hard.

“I got through 75 minutes last night having only trained once so I'm happy with the way things have gone.

“It was nice to come back and be out there. I just need to kick on and keep myself fit, that is the main thing.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool have secured the futures of youngsters Daniel Pacheco and Martin Kelly until 2014, the club have confirmed.

Spanish forward Pacheco, 19, has signed a two-year contract extension which keeps him at the club until June 30, 2014.

Twenty-year-old full-back Kelly has signed a three-year extension, tying him to the club to the same date.

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