• Premier League

Coutinho: Kick me and I'll punish you

ESPN staff
March 2, 2013
Philippe Coutinho has already opened his Liverpool account © PA Photos

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New Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has laughed off worries the Premier League's physicality will batter him into submission by declaring every time he gets kicked he will "score some goals".

Coutinho, a January transfer window acquisition from Inter Milan by the Anfield club, has already made his mark in the Premier League, scoring once from two league appearances.

And should the Brazilian come to the attention of the league's more aggressive defenders, expect the 20-year-old's goal-to-games ratio to quickly accelerate.

"I'm quite calm about the physical side of the game here," Coutinho said. "If I get knocked down, I will get up and carry on playing. Will I kick them back? No. I will have to score some goals first!

"Of course [the physical nature] can be a challenge but before I came here Lucas [Leiva] had told me about the style of play. I always knew the type of football here would be much harder, but with the help of the manager, staff and players I will try to adapt as quickly as possible."

Despite the league's physical reputation, Coutinho said the move to Liverpool was the best decision for his burgeoning career, jumping at the chance to hone his craft at a "huge club".

"Every time you come into training every day you see the European Cup and that gives you all the motivation you need," he said. "Liverpool has huge players who are idols to many people.

"I'm young and learning and when you want to decide to sign for a club like Liverpool, these are factors you consider. Liverpool is still a huge club all over the world. Hopefully I will have a long career here.

"I need to spend some time at a club but I also need to enjoy my football, to play my best. I need to take account that I am in the middle of huge players and I want to carry on learning my trade.

"The pressure I have is to play well and do my best for the team. I am well aware I am representing a huge club."

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