Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has been told he will be put on a strict training regime to prove his fitness before the start of the new season.
The £35 million striker made an early return for pre-season training, and Liverpool’s backroom staff have been told by manager Kenny Dalglish that they must try and improve Carroll’s fitness and attitude to help his development as a footballer.
A source close to Carroll told The Daily Mirror: “Andy hasn’t been fit since injuring a thigh against Tottenham on December 28. He never played for Newcastle again and it was another 10 weeks before he kicked a ball for Liverpool.
“That was a long time to be out and he didn’t really recover. He picked up several niggling injuries but knows he has to hit the ground running next season.
“He has been told he is going to be worked hard in pre-season and it is a big challenge now for him to reach peak physical condition.
“He is aware questions are being raised over his attitude and lifestyle and it is now up to him to put in the required effort to prove the doubters wrong.”
Pictures have surfaced of Carroll at the Glastonbury festival and in Barbados, attracting criticism for a lifestyle that has been under intense scrutiny since last season.
There are fears that Carroll’s attitude and perceived lack of discipline could affect his England prospects, and Fabio Capello is unlikely to want to deal with many more negative headlines involving the striker.