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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 12 January 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton takes an early look at our forthcoming opponents - this time Liverpool in the top four clash at Anfield on Saturday...

Chris Hughton takes an early look at our forthcoming opponents - this time Liverpool in the top four clash at Anfield on Saturday...

Anfield is and always has been a very daunting place to go and get a result. I can remember numerous occasions over the years when we have gone there, played well for 90 minutes and not come away with anything.

We also have to realise, however, that we are just one place below them in the league at the present time and the reason for that is because we have been able to go away to difficult venues and get results. Anfield is one of the most special places to go and play because the history and most of our players are old enough to remember the great sides they have had there.

I've mentioned the word already, but it was an incredibly daunting place to try and get anything years ago. They did have a lull after a long period of sustained success but they do look back on top form at the moment and they are possibly the form team in this division at the moment.

Liverpool have always let the opposition play and we found that over the years when we've had good performances and a decent share of the ball, but have generally not come away with anything.

They are very much a good footballing side and always have been over the years. Their style of play has not changed dramatically and they are a top team playing with a lot of confidence.

The key is the fact they have got very, very good players

When Peter Crouch was not scoring and being criticised in some quarters, what he was doing was putting in good performances. One thing you know about Peter is that if he is not getting on the end of things himself, he has a lot of assists in his game.

They have quality through the side, when you have Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard - as two good a passers in the league as you will see - in the team with Fernando Morientes, who didn't hit form as early people might have expected. We have seen him a lot of him over the years and admired him - he is a top class centre forward.

You then have Djibril Cisse who is in and out of the side and, when you can have that quality not playing each week, your front two must be doing something right.

Jose Reina came with a big reputation and the manager was very aware of the ability he has. Sometimes that doesn't neccessarily mean you are going to settle in well as our game overall is perhaps a more direct game than he would have been used to in Spain. He has fitted in very well.

We will be confident going into the game, we have been delighted with our away form which has been an improvement on what we've done in previous seasons. I think we are capable of going anywhere and putting on a performance and give a good account of ourselves.