stance on Kuyt
Roy Hodgson said after Liverpool's win
over Trabzonspor that he sees Dirk Kuyt as a key member of
the team and has no intention of selling him.
On Wednesday Kuyt's agent claimed he wanted to join former
Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan.
However, the 30-year-old showed no sign of that on Thursday
night, scoring the second goal in the Reds' 2-1 Europa
League play-off second leg victory over Trabzonspor.
After the match he said: "As far as I know my future is at
Liverpool. I've had a great time so far and I hope my future
will be great here.
"All I want is to win trophies with Liverpool."
It was something Hodgson welcomed but did not think was
"Dirk Kuyt is not for sale so excuse me for not
understanding the speculation of being happy now he has said
he is staying because I never doubted he was staying," said
the Reds boss.
"Dirk is an important part of Liverpool, I've made it clear
we don't welcome any offers for him and he's not for sale.
"As far as I'm concerned he is someone I believe in, someone
I count on, and it is important we improve the team around
the Steven Gerrards, Fernando Torres's, Jose Reinas and the
Kuyts and not sell them and start all over again."
Hodgson said there had been no movement on Javier
Mascherano's situation, who is a target for Barcelona, and
dismissed suggestions Inter Milan had entered the bidding
with a faxed offer to the club.
"I saw a fax the other day but I think it was sent
tongue-in-cheek to be honest," he revealed.
"The offer was so unbelievably far from a valuation it
seemed to me the sporting director was putting the fax in to
maybe satisfy people at the club.
"We didn't even bother to answer it, that is how
ridiculously far from a serious offer it was."
Hodgson admitted his side were "looking down the barrel"
against Trabzonspor before a late comeback secured their
Trailing to Teofilo Gutierrez's fourth-minute strike, the
Reds secured a 3-1 aggregate scoreline and passage into the
group stages thanks to a late Remzi Kacar own goal and a
tap-in from Kuyt.
It was Liverpool's first victory over Turkish opposition in
Turkey, having famously become European champions for the
fifth time in Istanbul in 2005.
"We were looking down the barrel here coming to Trabzon,"
said the 62-year-old.
"They were fresh off a win over Fenerbahce here, they are
last season's champions, they don't lose at home and we beat
them at home.
"To get a result here was something quite important and will
stand us in good stead for plenty of other matches.
"We had the toughest possible start but I thought we got
over it and throughout the game played well.
"Quite frankly we should have had the game sewn up long
before we did.
"But I was relieved."
Trabzonspor coach Senol Gunes was disappointed his side
could not pull off a shock.
"I am really upset but I think we had a positive game and
our players tried their best.
"Until the last 10 minutes we tried to control the midfield
but we were really tired in the last few minutes.
"But I am grateful to our players and supporters."
Kuyt: I'm staying at Liverpool
By Paul Hassall - LFC Official Website
Dirk Kuyt has quelled speculation
surrounding his future by insisting: "I'm staying at
The Dutch forward struck a late winner in the Reds' 2-1
Europa League success over Trabzonspor on Thursday night and
then revealed that he plans to remain on Merseyside.
"Everyone has said a lot about my future but as far as I
know my future is at Liverpool," he said.
"I've had a great time so far and I hope my future here will
be great as well and I can win trophies with Liverpool."
On an evening plagued by difficult weather conditions, Roy
Hodgson's side had looked in trouble when Teofilo Gutierrez
struck an early opener.
However, an improved second-half showing eventually paid
dividends courtesy of an own goal and Kuyt's late tap-in.
It means Liverpool have now progressed to the Europa League
group stage and Kuyt insists it is a competition they are
taking very seriously.
"It was a very disappointing first half and it was difficult
to play on that pitch," he said. "It rained all day. After
we went 1-0 down we fought back, we were patient and waited
for our chances. Obviously, we are very happy about the
"It's important for us to stay in Europe. We want to
challenge for trophies and this is another competition we
want to do well in."
Reds roar back to go through
By Mike Barton - Sky Sports
Liverpool booked their place in the group
stages of the Europa League after coming from behind to beat
Trabzonspor 2-1 in Turkey.
The Reds had never beaten Turkish opposition on their patch
and struggled to build for large parts of the game without
star men Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
They could not have got off to a worse start when Teofilo
Gutierrez put the hosts in front to level the tie 1-1 after
From there on in, the game failed to take any real rhythm,
with pressure from Trabzonspor sporadic and Liverpool's
threat almost non-existent in the first half.
However the Reds came back strongly in the second period,
creating much of the better chances and looking far more
They got their reward late into the game to kill the tie off
with an away goal thanks to an own goal form Remzi Kacar,
before Dirk Kuyt won the game with three minutes remaining.
Liverpool had the chance to put the tie to bed in the first
leg but taking a 1-0 lead to Turkey was never going to
ensure a comfortable night.
And despite finding themselves under huge pressure in the
opening 45 minutes they should have wrapped things up a lot
sooner than they eventually did.
David Ngog missed two second-half chances which Fernando
Torres, the man he was standing in for with the Spaniard
resting back on Merseyside, would probably have buried.
Prior to that Sotirios Kyrgiakos - one of five changes from
Monday's Manchester City defeat - could have scored in only
the second minute but he directed a weak downward header
from Fabio Aurelio's corner straight at Onur Kivrak.
Trabzonspor made no such mistake two minutes later when Kuyt
gave the ball away and Gustavo Colman's intended shot sliced
open the heart of Liverpool's defence and Gutierrez
side-footed past Jose Reina.
The enthusiastic Trabzonspor support did not need
encouragement to ratchet up the volume as Liverpool's task
suddenly looked a whole lot more difficult.
A quick counter-attack from an Aurelio corner almost brought
a second for Trabzonspor with Jamie Carragher deflecting
Ibrahima Yattara's shot behind and then Colman drilling in a
low effort which Reina turned around his left-hand post.
The Liverpool goalkeeper was receiving some unwanted
attention from a fan with a laser pen and Croatian referee
Ivan Bebek instructed the UEFA delegate to put out a warning
that the game could be stopped as a result.
Hodgson's side struggled to gain a foothold in the game and
spent the remainder of the first half under pressure.
That continued after the break as Burak Yilmaz burst through
on goal three minutes after the restart but was flagged
In the 52nd minute Ngog should have given Liverpool some
much-needed breathing space when Cole stood up a cross to
the far post but the Frenchman headed wide from close range
when it seemed easier to score.
Ngog then turned his marker inside-out on the edge of the
penalty area but, faced with a clear shot at goal, rolled
his effort wide.
Liverpool were, however, growing in confidence as
Trabzonspor began to drop deeper and deeper.
But the longer it went without a goal, the more pressure
they put on themselves.
Hodgson made his first change with 13 minutes to go when he
sent on Dani Pacheco for Aurelio.
But the breakthrough eventually came eight minutes from time
when pressure by Ngog forced an own goal.
Johnson's run and cross down the right was turned in by
Kacar via the near post.
And things were wrapped up late on as Kuyt tapped in after
Kivrak could only parry out Cole's shot.