Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has hailed striker Andy Carroll for refusing to let his head drop during a testing season for both player and club.
Carroll put his hand up for a start in this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Everton by heading in the goal that earned the Reds a 3-2 victory over Blackburn in the Premier League on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old England international, who cost Liverpool £35 million, has struggled for goals during this campaign, netting just three in 30 Premier League appearances.
However, Dalglish insists Carroll has paid no attention to those who have criticized his form over the past few months. "I think Andy is really confident and got what he deserved last night," Dalglish said. "He worked really hard, and scored a fantastic header. I don't think confidence is a problem."
Meanwhile, Dalglish is adamant he has no qualms with throwing third-choice keeper Brad Jones in at the deep end for the clash against Everton. Having been forced into action following a red card for Alexander Doni, who was deputizing for Pepe Rena, Jones both saved and gave away a penalty against Blackburn.
"His first contribution in the league for us is to save a penalty," Dalglish said. "I'm sure he will remember that. There is no problem whatsoever with playing him at Wembley."