English Premiership

Heskey set for Anfield return

2015-01-23 08:33
Emile Heskey (AP Photo)

Liverpool - Bolton manager Neil Lennon hopes an unlikely return to his former club for veteran striker Emile Heskey can help inspire an FA Cup shock against Liverpool on Saturday.

Heskey will be back at Anfield at the age of 37 after making a playing comeback with Bolton at Christmas.

The former England international was an FA Cup winner with Liverpool in 2001, when his 22 goals also helped Gerard Houllier's side win the League Cup, UEFA Cup and European Super Cup.

Heskey and former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, 36, are now the elder statesmen of a Bolton side who are 15th in the Championship after Gudjohnsen returned for a second spell with Bolton earlier this season.

And Lennon is looking to the two to roll back the years and inspired a shock win against Liverpool in the fourth round this weekend.

The Northern Irishman - a member of the Celtic side which won a UEFA Cup tie at Anfield in 2003 - said: "Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen, who are a big influence in the dressing room, have experience of playing in these big games.

"We are hoping all the old instincts kick back in and they smell it again, being out in that big-game atmosphere.

"Emile has been fantastic since he walked through the door. He had a bit to prove when he came back here and he's doing that.

"There's plenty of football left in him and he's been a big bonus for us."

- Bolton aim to bounce back -

Bolton have pulled themselves away from the Championship relegation places since former Celtic manager Lennon took over in October to reverse a decline that began with relegation from the top flight in 2012.

Lennon, 43, is looking forward to competing again with one of the country's elite but insists his side are not going to Merseyside just for a day out.

"The whole club has got a taste of being back in the big time again, which is fantastic. We see this as a big opportunity to put Bolton back in the picture. These opportunities don't come around too often," he added.

"I don't think you can go to places like Liverpool and sit back all afternoon and admire Liverpool on the ball. We are going to compete and try and cause them problems."

Liverpool have striker Mario Balotelli available again following illness and defender Glenn Johnson is also back after a month out with a groin injury.

Midfielder Joe Allen also returns following a knee problem that has kept him out since mid-December.

However, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that striker Daniel Sturridge is not yet fit enough to return as he continues his rehabilitation from a thigh problem that has kept him out since September.

With their injury problems mostly clearing up, Rodgers still hopes to end the season with a first trophy for Liverpool since 2012.

Liverpool are tied at 1-1 with Chelsea in their two-legged League Cup semi-final and Rodgers is also looking to progress in the FA Cup before targeting a potential Premier League title challenge again next season.

Rodgers, whose side finished second in the league last season, said: "This season was always going to be difficult. With so many changes and everything that's happened, we weren't going to challenge for the league this year. That's reality.

"This season has been about getting into the top four, minimising the impact of so many new signings, giving them the time to develop, and then targeting a trophy in the cup competitions. That's very much in our focus now.

"I believe the squad has Premier League-winning capabilities.

"The players can grow together, and if we can get success in a cup competition this year that will give us even greater stimulus to stick together and perform."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.