Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish backs Andy Carroll over criticism

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has defended Andy Carroll following recent criticism of the striker's lifestyle from England coach Fabio Capello.

Carroll was a substitute in England's win against Wales after Capello said: "If he wants to be a good player he needs to drink less than the others."

But Dalglish insisted: "His fitness would stand up against anybody's.

"I don't think his lifestyle is anything like you want it to be to write a story."

The Liverpool boss added: "Andy was not properly fit last season because of a knee injury.

"We are pleased with his fitness this season because he's lost that injury."

Carroll, 22, has started two of Liverpool's first four games in his first full season at Anfield following his move from Newcastle in January.

The forward has scored once, in a substitute appearance in the Carling Cup victory at Exeter - but netted twice against Manchester City last season in a 3-0 win.

Dalglish added: "I think Andy is very appreciative of advice from anyone who has a good standing in football.

"I think he appreciates Fabio Capello's advice because he has great respect for Fabio Capello and I think Fabio Capello has great respect for Andy Carroll."

Meanwhile, Dalglish says his recent signings Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy are available to face Stoke this weekend.

Dalglish said: "Sebastian came to prominence in the Copa America when he won it with Uruguay and was voted Young Player of the Tournament - and that's not a bad accolade when you consider (Alexis) Sanchez went for £40million to Barcelona.

"We're happy to have him in. We just need to give him time to settle down and we look forward to it.

"It's the same with Craig. He's really enthusiastic at being back and made a lot of sacrifices to return, financially and otherwise, because of what the club means to him. We're delighted to have people with that attitude here."

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