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Xabi Alonso wants Liverpool to be quick out of the blocks

Jul 30 2007

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

Xabi Alonso

AMBITIOUS Xabi Alonso has set his sights on improving his goal-scoring record for Liverpool this season.

Alonso was on the mark from the penalty spot in the Barclays Asia Trophy semi-final victory over South China last Tuesday.

The 25-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract last month, has netted only 12 times in 134 appearances for Liverpool since arriving from Real Sociedad three years ago.

But Alonso is keen to provide extra firepower to a Liverpool team that scored just 57 times in the league last season compared to the 84 of champions Manchester United.

“I would love to score more goals, but sometimes you have to know how the manager wants you to play,” said Alonso. “Sometimes you need to be farther from the goal because you need to cover while a team-mate goes forward. Of course it’s a challenge and an ambition for me to score more goals, but it’s not easy. I don’t think I’m going to be a 10 or 12 goals man. In some positions it’s not that easy.”

Alonso agrees with team-mates Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard that Liverpool must be on their mettle from the first whistle of the opening game against Aston Villa on Saturday week or risk another campaign of Premier League underachievement.

“The challenge is to have a good start first of all,” he added. “If we start well it will give us a boost and we’ll have more confidence. We’ve got to try to prove to ourselves that we can be at the top from the beginning. We’ve got to start as well as possible. The last few seasons we’ve had a poor start and the gap has become so big that it was difficult to go for the title. We need to focus on the start of the season and not be thinking about the last game.”

Alonso and the remainder of the Liverpool squad returned from their eight-day stay in Hong Kong yesterday morning. Benitez’s side conclude their pre-season preparations with two games at the Port of Rotterdam tournament.


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