• Premier League

Downing confident Carroll will kick on

October 3, 2011
Andy Carroll put Liverpool ahead at Everton on Saturday © PA Photos

Stewart Downing believes a goal in the Merseyside derby will give striker Andy Carroll the platform he needs to kick-start his Liverpool career.

Carroll, who became the club's record signing when he joined from Newcastle for £35 million, broke the deadlock in the 2-0 win against ten-man Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

It was the England international's first goal in seven Premier League appearances this season, having only previously scored against League One strugglers Exeter in the Carling Cup.

Carroll scored twice in seven appearances last season - both came in the same game against Manchester City - after an injury-interrupted start to his Liverpool career having moved from Newcastle in January.

After a full pre-season the 22-year-old looks leaner and fitter and despite putting in some performances of promise he was short of a goal, but Downing believes his strike in the 216th Merseyside derby will give the big centre-forward the confidence boost he needs.

"Andy's off the mark now," he said. "Without scoring, he's been doing well for us and he deserved it for his all-around play. That goal is a real bonus and for it to happen in the derby is extra special for him

"Andy is a quality striker and I'm sure he'll build on this. It was such an important goal as this was a big win for us."

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