BRENDAN RODGERS will hand Joe Cole another chance to kickstart his stalled Liverpool FC career this evening.
Cole is lined up for a role as Rodgers plans to ring the changes for the Capital One Cup fourth round home tie against Swansea City.
The 30-year-old started the Anfield manager’s first game in charge in the Europa League win at FC Gomel back in August but limped off after just 23 minutes with a hamstring injury when he was replaced by Raheem Sterling.
Cole aggravated the problem on his comeback during a nine-minute substitute appearance in the Premier League opener at West Bromwich Albion, and has since made one senior outing from the bench in the goalless draw against Stoke City earlier this month.
His first-team hopes have been dented by the emergence of both Sterling and fellow youngster Suso, and Rodgers admitted: “It’s been difficult for him.
“Joe worked hard throughout pre-season, then he got injured and others have come in and done well, so I’m not going to throw them to the garbage because a senior player is available again.
“This game is an opportunity for Joe to come in and prove himself. He’s worked hard, there are no complaints there, and he’s very keen to be a success at Liverpool. We will take it from there.”
Cole, who spent a successful loan spell at French club Lille last season, still has 18 months remaining on his contract.
And asked if tonight represents a chance for the player to prove he deserves to be at Anfield, Rodgers added: “He feels that himself. He knows I respect players and where he’s at and I always judge in the present. He knows that anyway, though.
“He doesn’t want to be picked on anything that he’s done before, it’s about where we are in terms of form now that is important.