Liverpool news

Bellamy fit for Carling Cup final

February 22, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy says he will be fit for Sunday's Carling Cup final against his old club Cardiff and maintains that if he scores, he will not celebrate his goal.

Craig Bellamy
GettyImagesCraig Bellamy joined Liverpool from Manchester City for free last summer

• Bellamy to make final Wales outing

Bellamy, 32, has recovered fully from a back spasm that saw him miss the 6-1 win over Brighton in the FA Cup last weekend and is confident that he will be ready to start at Wembley.

"My fitness is fine. My back spasmed up after I came on against Manchester United a week and a bit ago, and it just got a little bit worse during the week instead of improving," he said. "The manager said 'look, if you need an injection then get it done now because we have a lot of games coming up. It's such a busy period, so get it sorted just in case.' I start training on Thursday, so I'm fine at the moment."

The Wales international grew up in Cardiff and has deep affection for the Bluebirds having supported them as a boy.

"I certainly won't celebrate. I tried not to against Man City [another former club; in the semi-final], I tried to hold myself back," he added. "Really I didn't celebrate that much but in the occasion and the moment you get a little bit carried away. I have no aspirations of celebrating. But I have to be on the pitch first and foremost before I think about scoring.

"It will be a strange situation as it's the first time I've ever played against them. It's not something I've looked forward to doing, to be honest. My father's a big Cardiff fan and it's the club I used to go to when I was very young. I set one ambition in my life to play for them and I was able to do that."

Bellamy's only trophy success in England is his Charity Shield win with Liverpool in 2006, but he claimed that the club are targeting a top four spot over either the Carling Cup or FA Cup.

"Would we choose Champions League qualification over winning the Carling Cup? I think we would," he said. "Would Cardiff chose getting in the Premier League over winning the Carling Cup? I think they would as well. The top four is our main focus this season and the cup competitions are a bonus."