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Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke praises the contribution of Craig Bellamy and calls on side to raise their game against Manchester City

Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke praises the contribution of Craig Bellamy and calls on side to raise their game against Manchester City

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The Welsh forward was named the club’s player of the month for December and will be crucial for the Reds when they head to the Etihad for the League Cup semi-final first leg

Steve Clarke has praised Craig Bellamy for his performances since joining Liverpool in the summer from Manchester City.

Bellamy has scored six times since moving to Anfield and has played an important role in the club's path to the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Clarke, Kenny Dalglish's assistant manager, worked with the Welshman when he was at West Ham and said he is pleased with his contribution since moving to Merseyside.

"Craig has done great for us," Clarke told the club’s official website.

"He is in a really good moment and his contribution is there for everyone to see.

"We are all really pleased for him, and to be fair we knew what we were getting when we brought him back to this club.

"I worked with Craig for a short time at West Ham, Kevin Keen worked with him before, and we knew the type of player we would be getting.

"We felt he could make a big contribution to the squad and that's what he has done and continues to do which is great.

"We have got some big games coming up this month and that's what everybody is involved in football for. We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can get some positive results."

Liverpool face Manchester City in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium looking to avenge their 3-0 defeat a week earlier at the same ground in the Premier League.

The trip to Manchester gives the Reds a quick chance to make up for that loss and Clarke believes the players will have learnt from their mistakes and can secure a better result this time around.

He said: "If you sit and analyse the game, which we've done quite a lot since, we have shown the players some things they did quite well during the game and some things obviously they didn't do very well.

"Anybody who watched the game and is honest I think would say that 3-0 was not a fair reflection of the game, but it's up to us to make sure we turn that around and we do well.

"We have to play better, I don't think there's any doubt about that, and if we can find that extra bit of quality and add a little bit more to our game then I'm sure we will get a good result.

"When you play against any of the top teams, and we consider ourselves to be a top team, the fewer mistakes you make the better and obviously you have to try and produce moments of quality that can turn the game."

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