finding his feet
Christian Poulsen says he is adapting to
life in the Premier League as Liverpool look to climb the
The Danish midfielder, who arrived at Anfield from Juventus
in the summer, appeared as a late substitute during the
Reds' 1-1 league draw at Wigan on Wednesday evening.
Poulsen was pleased to get a run-out against the Latics, and
has vowed to improve as he begins to get to grips with the
pace of the English top flight.
"It was good for me to play the last 20-25 minutes and I
wanted to show my best for the team," Poulsen told
Liverpool's official website.
"There have been many changes at Liverpool and I have come
in this season as a new player.
"We have a new manager and new owners. I am trying to learn
as quickly as possible to adapt to the league.
"I know I've got a lot of work to do and I will work hard
every day in training at Melwood so I can help this team.
"Liverpool is a great club and I feel really proud to be
here. I feel I can improve and give a lot more."
The Dane, who has made 12 appearances for the Reds since
arriving in August, including five league starts, says he is
grateful for the confidence invested in him by manager Roy
Hodgson, adding: "The manager has shown a lot of faith in
Poulsen admits the result at the DW Stadium, in which Hugo
Rodallega cancelled out Fernando Torres' early goal, was not
what Hodgson's men were hoping for following their
encouraging 2-0 triumph over leaders Chelsea at the weekend.
However, the midfielder insists Liverpool, now ninth in the
table, are beginning to put their nightmare start to the
season behind them, and remains optimistic they can still
challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot in the coming
"It's been a tough start for us but we are improving and
want to get in the top four as quickly as possible," he
"I thought we started the game well and it looked like we
were going to win it. But Wigan were strong in the second
half and the early goal helped them.
"After a brilliant win over Chelsea it was frustrating for
us but it's a tough Premier League this season with teams
taking points off one another.
"Every team can beat each other - there is no easy game and
Wigan showed that against us."
Gerrard takes blame for
Liverpool FC’s draw with Wigan
By Dominic King - Liverpool Echo
Steven Gerrard today held his hands up for
the role he played in costing Liverpool victory at Wigan
last night – then vowed to put the record straight at Stoke.
Liverpool’s captain was one of his side’s better performers
in the 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium but he cut a frustrated
figure as he headed for home.
Aside from seeing a shot cannon back off the crossbar when
sent clean through by Maxi Rodriguez, Gerrard also felt
culpable for Wigan’s goal, which was scored by Hugo
Gerrard tried to play a one-two with Paul Konchesky but his
pass was cut out, which allowed Wigan to counterattack and
pilfer an equaliser.
That prevented Liverpool, who had taken the lead through
Fernando Torres, from leaping into fifth place but Gerrard
was quick to point out that it was not all doom and gloom.
Roy Hodgson’s men have extended their unbeaten run to six
games and the inspirational midfielder has promised to do
all he can to make that tally seven at the Britannia Stadium
“I tried to play a one-two that, if it had come off, could
have been a good move,” Gerrard explained. “You don’t expect
it to lead to a goal but, when it does, you have to take
“Then when I went through on goal, I maybe struck my shot
too well but I should have scored – I expected to. As we
haven’t taken maximum points, maybe people should point a
finger at me.
“Maybe our performance suffered after the energy and
intensity we put into beating Chelsea. You can often find
that happening after you play a game 72 hours after a big
“Besides those things, I’m happy with my form. After a
fantastic win over Chelsea and having gone 1-0 up, of course
we understand why people will be slightly disappointed.
“But we have kept our unbeaten run going, Fernando has got
another goal and there are other positives.
“It’s going to be tough at Stoke but we will have to stand
up and fight, stick together and if we get a win, that would
be a superb result. We will be ready for it.”
Full-back Martin Kelly has joined his captain in promising a
swift response and has admitted Liverpool need to be more
savvy than they were during the second period last night.
“We came out in the second half but they put a lot more
pressure on us and, at times, it was hard to cope but we
have got another game coming up quickly at Stoke,” said
“We have got to put this behind us. It was disappointing and
we know that we are better than that. You have got to be
able to grind it out but Stoke will be a different game to
“We have just got to go out with the same game plan, aim to
start well and make sure that we get a better result than we
did here. We have got to make sure we put this right. Stoke
have got big, strong men up front and we will have to stay
Martinez lauds Wigan spirit
By Elliot Ball - Sky Sports
Roberto Martinez hailed the character of
his Wigan Athletic players as they held Liverpool on
The Reds thought they were on their way to a fifth
successive win when Fernando Torres opened the scoring early
on but Hugo Rodallega put paid to the visitors' three-point
hopes with a 52nd minute equaliser.
Although Steven Gerrard came the closest to scoring late on
as his rattled the crossbar, it was Martinez's Latics who
bossed the majority of the match and were unfortunate not to
run out victors at the DW Stadium.
The draw means Wigan fail to move out of the bottom three
but Martinez is confident they will claw their way out of
trouble if they continue to play as well as they did in
"You look at the performance and you feel we dropped two
points," Martinez told Sky Sports HD.
"Sometimes you need that luck and at the moment we are not
getting any of that.
"But after a performance like tonight it's just a matter of
time before things come together."
Wigan went into the game on a two-match losing run and a
third successive defeat looked on the cards when Torres gave
Liverpool the lead in the seventh minute.
But the Reds were playing second fiddle to the Latics for
the remainder of the game and Martinez heaped praise on his
charges for showing such a spirited response to going a goal
"It would have been easy to fold or capitulate or let
Liverpool control the game but we stopped that," said the
Spaniard, whose side host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
"We had to use extra energy and that reaction in the last 20
minutes of the first half and the whole second half I felt
we were the better side.
"And to say that against a Liverpool side full of confidence
is a huge compliment and the amount of chances we created is
extremely pleasing and I'm very proud of the players."
By Paul Hassall at the DW Stadium - LFC Official Website
Roy Hodgson felt his side paid the price
for their recent exertions as they produced what he
described as a 'tired' performance in the 1-1 draw at Wigan.
The Reds had looked set to extend their winning run to five
matches when Fernando Torres fired home a brilliant opener
on six minutes.
However, the home side recovered to level through Hugo
Rodallega, leaving the boss frustrated by his team's
"We didn't deserve to win the game," he told his post-match
"We looked tired today and I don't think our passing was
anywhere near as good as we expected it to be. We had a
bright start and a bright finish but for a long period in
between we weren't anywhere near where I would expect us to
be. I think we can be more than happy with the point we got
from the game."
He added: "It was a wonderful piece of play from two
outstanding players for our goal. It was a marvellous pass
and wonderful finish that put us on the front foot. But we
didn't capitalise on that. Even though we had a spell when
we were pretty much in control, there were also long
periods, especially from the start of the second half, where
we just invited Wigan on to us.
"We consistently gave the ball away and as a result they
took advantage and equalised. We did better towards the end
and were perhaps a little bit unlucky with Steven's
(Gerrard) shot that hit the underside of the crossbar, but
it would have been harsh on Wigan had we won it."
Asked why he felt his side had failed to produce a similar
display to the one that saw off Chelsea, Hodgson added: "I'd
put that down to Napoli, Blackburn, Bolton and Chelsea - all
with a small squad of players.
"We have five injuries at the moment. We finished the game
with Martin Kelly, Jonjo Shelvey and Nathan Eccleston.
That's what we have at the moment. Hopefully we will get
some players back soon.
"Johnson's not fit. I overestimated his short training
session and underestimated what would happen after it the
following day, so he wasn't fit.
"Now we have to work hard to get players back in the right
physical and mental frame of mind for another tough test at
"We knew this game would be difficult because Wigan are not
a bad side at all. They haven't had a good start themselves
but showed they are a good football team on many occasions
The boss was also quizzed by journalist about his decision
to substitute Raul Meireles at half-time.
Hodgson explained: "He was sick. I don't know how long it
will take for him to recover. He felt ill just before the
game in the warm up. He wanted to play and got through the
first half but at half-time he was sick again, so there was
Reds' winning run ends
with disappointing draw
Liverpool’s four-match winning run was
halted by a lively Wigan at the DW Stadium as Roy Hodgson’s
side faded badly after taking an early lead.
Despite being given an early advantage by Fernando Torres’
third goal in four days, the visitors lost their grip on the
game midway through the first half and never regained it.
Wigan equalised through Hugo Rodallega in the 52nd minute
and finished the better side as the Merseysiders appeared to
feel the exertions of beating Barclays Premier League
leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
That will be a concern to manager Hodgson, who has
complained about the depth of quality in his squad, with a
trip to Stoke next up on Saturday.
The draw meant Liverpool missed the chance to move into the
top five - a scenario which seemed a distant prospect just a
few weeks ago with the Reds mired in the relegation zone
until they put together three league wins to add to a
victory in Europe.
It must also have annoyed Hodgson because, as they did
against Chelsea, his side began strongly with Sunday’s man
of the match Lucas Leiva unleashing a 25-yard strike which
Ali Al Habsi just managed to tip over.
The next time the visitors attacked the goalkeeper was given
no chance by a clinical Torres.
An unusual statistic for this season is that all Liverpool’s
league goals, apart from their opening match against
Arsenal, have either been scored or provided by Steven
Gerrard and Torres.
The Reds’ star duo demonstrated why their partnership is so
successful in the seventh minute when Gerrard was given far
too much time to carry the ball through midfield.
His perfectly-weighted 30-yard pass allowed Torres to
outpace Gary Caldwell and fire across Al Habsi into the far
corner of the goal.
It was the 26-year-old’s first away goal since March 21 and,
considering his prolific record, only the 17th in 41 matches
The simplicity of that strike was contrasted by their next
move, which saw Gerrard, Torres and Dirk Kuyt combine before
the captain volleyed over from the Dutchman’s header.
Torres was looking at his dangerous best and when Antolin
Alcaraz stumbled he was clean through only for referee Peter
Walton to pull play back for a non-existent foul.
Charles N’Zogbia looked Wigan’s best outlet and he thought
he had equalised in the 33rd minute when he seized on Lucas’
weak pass and played a one-two with Rodallega to tap home
but his team-mate had already been flagged offside.
A Ronnie Stam pass intended for Rodallega at the near post
rolled agonisingly wide of the far upright as Wigan finished
the half on the up.
Raul Meireles was replaced by Jonjo Shelvey for the start of
the second half and the teenager’s first contribution was to
give the ball away to Rodallega but his forward pass to
N’Zogbia was too strong.
The Colombian was not so wasteful moments later when Jose
Reina could only palm Stam’s low cross into his path and he
gratefully fired home left-footed.
Wigan sensed their chance as Liverpool’s play became
increasingly ragged and Martinez sent on young forward
Victor Moses for Jordi Gomez.
Kuyt’s strike from Shelvey’s deflected shot was half-saved
by Al Habsi before it crossed the line but the Holland
international had come back from an offside position and it
was ruled out.
It was a brief rally as Stam again found room down the right
to cross and Martin Kelly had to hack away at the far post
under pressure from Tom Cleverley.
Gerrard’s shot 10 minutes from time crashed down off the
crossbar but not over the line with Al Habsi beaten as the
game became end-to-end.
But it was Liverpool who were grateful for the final whistle
as Mohamed Diame and N’Zogbia both forced low saves out of
The result may prove to only be a blip in Liverpool’s
recovery but Hodgson cannot allow his side to lose any
momentum having built up so much confidence over the last
Wigan may ultimately have been disappointed with a point,
having won the corresponding fixture last season and
finished so strongly, but it at least avoided a third
successive league defeat.