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DANNY ON ANFIELD RETURN

Posted on 21 September 2006  - 12:00

Danny Murphy is hoping he gets to make what would only be his second return to his former Anfield stage when we take on Liverpool in the early afternoon kick-off on Saturday.

Danny Murphy is hoping he gets to make what would only be his second return to his former Anfield stage when we take on Liverpool in the early afternoon kick-off on Saturday.

The midfielder departed from Liverpool for Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2004 after spending seven years at the club he supported as a boy. His one return so far came just two months after his leaving when John Arne Riise and Luis Garcia sealed a 2-0 win for the home side.

Danny admits the experience of going back to his old club two years ago was a little strange. He received the traditional recognition for his services from the fans, but concedes he was not completely settled in the build up to the game. He believes it will be very different this time around.

"I've only been back once with the way the fixtures have worked out over the last couple of seasons and it wasn't a happy occasion, as it turned out," Danny recalled. "Charlton got beaten quite comfortably by 2-0.

"Anfield holds fantastic memories for me and it is somewhere where I've had many good times. I always enjoy going back, it is an excellent place to play, the pitch is always wonderful and they have good fans. You also play against the best players and that is always a challenge when you play the top teams.

"It was unusual when I did go back before, but now more time has lapsed I will be more relaxed as I remember feeling quite uptight about it. I am really looking forward to this one."

The 29-year-old, who started his first game of the season for us against Fulham last weekend, added that he would happily swap a warm reception for a goal and a win.

"They gave me a great reception last time, which was pleasing. Hopefully I will get the same again, but I would rather bang in a goal for Tottenham and get a few boos. At the forefront of my mind - and the whole squad - is to pick up a point and hopefully three.

"It will be a tough challenge for us because we know their home record has been very good over the last two seasons under Rafa Benitez. There would be no better place for us to go and get a result as it would build confidence massively."

Similar to ourselves, the wind of change has swept through Anfield over the last couple of years with big changes to the playing squad. However, there are still a number of Saturday's opposition from Danny's time there, the bedrock of the side that he feels is so crucial.

"There has been a lot of players out and a lot of players in, which seems to be the way these days at Premiership clubs because the demand for success is so high.

"A few are still there - good friends of mine - and I am looking forward to seeing Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and John Arne Riise, players I have known for a long time. It is always a bit weird playing against people you know so well.

"I think every club needs a good spine. Steven, Jamie, Sami and John have been the mainstays for a long time now and have been wonderful servants. We've got our own players like that, you look at Ledley King and Robbie Keane who have been here a long time and are fantastic players.

"I think Saturday's game has all the ingredients towards being a really good spectacle. Two teams who like to play football the right way - so it will probably end up 0-0...

"I am looking forward to it, it will be a good afternoon and the best way to ensure that is to get the right result."