Lucas: More goals to come from Carroll
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva expects the goals to flow for Andy Carroll now the £35million striker has opened his account for the club.
However, the Brazil international warned that despite the 22-year-old's impressive two-goal display in last night's 3-0 Premier League win over Manchester City - his first a powerful strike from outside the area which beat England team-mate Joe Hart for pace - the team have to play their part in creating chances for their record signing.
Carroll had looked a handful in his previous five matches since recovering from the thigh injury which delayed his debut after signing from Newcastle United in January, but his performance against City was undoubtedly his best so far.
His goals were just reward for his efforts and, having scored 11 for Newcastle this season, he now has 13 in 23 Premier League matches and is the joint-highest English goalscorer for the current campaign alongside Darren Bent.
Lucas believes the striker will add to that tally sooner rather than later. "Everyone is so happy for Andy. For a few games he's been trying to score and at times has been unlucky," he said.
"He showed what he's capable of doing, not just with his head but with his feet as well. Your first goal is always the most difficult to get. I'm sure now he will get more and more.
"The way he scored, especially the first which was a great strike in a big game, means he will have more confidence in the next few games for next season as well. It's up to us to keep creating chances for him.
"We want our strikers to score all the time. Sometimes it is not possible but as a team we have to make sure they feel comfortable and have chances to score goals."
Manager Kenny Dalglish has always preached patience when it came to Carroll, pointing out he was signed for the club's long-term future - not just to save this season after the departure of Fernando Torres.
But he accepted they had probably thrust the England international back into action earlier than they would have liked in order to get him up to speed after two months out injured.
"We have pushed him. Normally you get some games to get yourself match-fit but he never had that," said the Scot. "He came on against Manchester United and then he played against Braga and it went from there.
"We have tried to help as much as we can but he has been fantastic in his recovery work and the goals are maybe coming now because he is getting up to full match fitness.
"If he hadn't scored before last night it was not his fault, it was our fault because we threw him in earlier than we should have - not in a way that would have threatened his fitness, only in a way to get him match-fit and sharp, and he was that against City.
"He was unselfish as well because he and Luis Suarez took turns to drop back to try to help and the work both put in was fantastic."
Liverpool have the best record against the current top four than any other club this season, with Dalglish overseeing wins over United, City and Chelsea since his appointment in early January.
But they have also lost to strugglers Blackpool, West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion during that time and Lucas admits it is an area which needs work. "The intensity of our game in the first half against City especially was amazing," added the Brazilian.
"Now we just have to try to play with that kind of character in every game. We know it is difficult but always in big games we seem to play better than in games in which we maybe think it will be a bit easier.
"But you have to make sure you play well in every game to get a better position in the table. Under Kenny we've won all the big games against United, City and Chelsea; that shows how well our team prepares well for the big games."