Liverpool striker Kuyt desperate to make teams suffer at Anfield
25 September 2009 10:48
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Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is confident his side can make Anfield a more profitable venue in terms of Barclays Premier League points having struggled to break down teams at home last season.
Seven draws against the likes of Stoke, Fulham, West Ham and Hull ultimately cost Rafa Benitez's side their first Barclays Premier League title as they finished second, four points behind Manchester United.
Although they have already lost to Aston Villa at Anfield this campaign - their first home league defeat since December 2007 - they also swept aside both Stoke and Burnley 4-0.
And Kuyt feels they have learned important lessons about playing against sides who arrive on Merseyside looking to frustrate.
'Apart from the Villa match, I think we have shown that we can beat any side at Anfield this season,' said the Holland international.
'We had difficulties last season with all the draws but now we are able to score goals in the first half.
'It's really important to score as early as possible because then it will be more difficult for them and easier for us.
'We know the Barclays Premier League is one of the hardest leagues in the world and every team is good with some fine players.'
Hull return to Anfield nine months after they shocked their hosts by taking a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes before they were pegged back by two goals from Reds captain Steven Gerrard.
At the time the Tigers were enjoying a dream start to their maiden Premier League season but this time around their fortunes have changed dramatically, taking just four points from six matches. Liverpool, by contrast have won three successive league matches and are on a five-game winning streak.
'I believe Hull are a good team as well but we have to look at our own strengths and we must believe we can beat them,' added Kuyt.
'We must focus on ourselves and respect the opponent. We didn't start that well and have already lost twice. But we have now started to win a couple of games in a row and we want to keep that going, beginning with Hull.'
Kuyt believes part of their success at home is down to the options summer signing Glen Johnson has provided.
The England defender, who moved from Portsmouth, has probably been the Merseysiders' best player so far, scoring twice and providing a much-needed cutting edge from right-back.
Johnson, 25, may yet have to win over critics who are sceptical about his defensive strengths but there are no doubts over his ability as an attacking force.
'I think Glen has done really well,' Kuyt told liverpoolfc.tv. 'He was a big signing for us but he has shown straight from the start that he is very important - both defensively and in attack.
'He has scored some very good goals and provided some assists. He is probably one of the best players in the team so far this season.
'He is still young and I think he will only get better and better.'