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The striker feels lucky to be playing with the same player who he idolised growing up, and hailed his captain's hunger and determination to improve as a player

Andy Carroll has revealed he used to pretend to be his Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard when he played football as a youngster with friends.

Carroll has struggled to perform at Anfield since completing £35 million from Newcastle in January 2011, but the 23-year-old admitted being inspired to improve as a player after following some of Gerrard’s displays.

Most recently, the captain bagged a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby.

"You see Stevie playing the way he did against Everton, scoring three and driving the team on,” Carroll told LFC magazine. “It was really inspiring.

"He's had an amazing career but you still know he's desperate to achieve more. It's the hunger you see every day, the determination to win more games, win medals and trophies.

"I used to watch him when I was younger and pretend to be him on the field with my mates. I'm very lucky to be able to share a dressing room with him now. It's unbelievable."

The striker has netted three goals in 25 league appearances so far this season for the Reds to take his tally in all competitions since joining the club to eight.