31 October 2007


By Simon Armstrong, PA Sport

Cardiff manager Dave Jones insists striker Robbie Fowler will not be affected by his emotional return to Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Fowler is set to step out at Anfield for the first time since he left the Reds for a second time in the summer after he was not offered a new contract by manager Rafael Benitez.
Much of the pre-match hype for the Carling Cup fourth-round tie has centred on the man known as 'God' to the Liverpool fans, but Jones is adamant Fowler will block out the emotion of the occasion. "He's not been bothered at all with it," Jones said.
"He doesn't want to be interviewed and he's quite happy to get on with his footballing life.
"He's been back before with two other clubs (Leeds and Manchester City), so he just wants to get on and play and do his job."
Jones is, meanwhile, hoping history repeats itself when his team travel to Merseyside.
The Bluebirds boast an enviable head-to-head record against the Reds, having recorded 16 league wins to Liverpool's eight, and the last time the two teams met at Anfield in December 1959, Cardiff ran out 4-0 winners.
But with Cardiff currently lying 17th in the Coca-Cola Championship table following an indifferent start to their league campaign, Jones knows that the odds are stacked against his team pulling off a similar result to qualify for the quarter-finals.
"They are a top quality side and no matter what position we are in the league, it would still be a massive game for this football club and a massive achievement if we were to get something out of it," said Jones.
Liverpool have also endured a turbulent start to the season and, despite his side remaining unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League, Reds boss Benitez has come under increasing criticism for his controversial rotation policy.
Benitez looks set to shuffle his pack once again - particularly given the injuries suffered by Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano at the weekend.
But Jones admits he is at a loss to predict the XI his team will face.
"I watched the game against Arsenal at Anfield and I really don't know which team Rafa (Benitez) is going to pick," he said.
"I would think that that he might leave the likes of (John Arne) Riise, Torres and (Dirk) Kuyt out, but bring in players such as (Peter) Crouch, (Ryan) Babel and (Harry) Kewell - but I don't know because I'd be guessing totally on what his team might be.
"He (Benitez) has got a squad of players that befit a football club with the calibre of Liverpool but it doesn't matter what team he puts out.
"What matters is how we prepare and what sort of performance we put in but, as I've said many times, if these players play to the best of their ability, as they have on one or two occasions this season, then we won't let ourselves down."

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