Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is convinced he can make Fernando Torres one of the world’s most feared strikers again.
The Spain international has looked a shadow of his former prolific self this season, scoring just six times in 22 matches and only once in his last eight games.
Torres appears to have suffered most during former manager Roy Hodgson’s six months in charge as a change in tactics often found him chasing aimless punts forward or trying to control a ball which came to him anywhere but on the ground.
His frustration has been reflected in his body language, which some observers have interpreted as an indication he wants to leave the club.
And although he spent a large part of Sunday’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United running around without much service after Steven Gerrard was sent off Dalglish was more than happy with the 26-year-old striker’s contribution.
The Scot, who was appointed after Hodgson’s departure on Saturday and only met the players for the first time in an official capacity at 10:30 on the morning of the game, will now concentrate on getting Torres back to his best.
“Fernando Torres has got a magic wand. We have great aims to build on and it is up to us to get him going,” said Dalglish.
“He wants to do it, you can see he wants to do it, and we’ll get him going sooner rather than later.
“He ran himself into the ground and that is a great sign he is determined to get himself back and silence a few critics he has.
“Fernando worked his socks off and there is only so much a man’s body can take so we took him off at the end to try to preserve him a bit.
“He did everything that was expected of him in terms of effort and commitment and if you look at the lads, it doesn’t matter how good a player you are, you still need confidence and we need to get it back. But we couldn’t ask for any more in terms of work and commitment from any of the players and if they keep working like that they will get it themselves.
“It is my responsibility to encourage them, improve them and help them to get better and that is the thing I will be working on.” SL