Saturday, July 25, 2009

Xabi denies fake injury claims

XABI ALONSO has denied accusations he feigned injury to avoid playing against Thailand and has declared himself fit for tomorrow’s clash with Singapore.

The Liverpool midfielder missed the midweek match in Bangkok with some reports suggesting he didn’t want to risk picking up a knock which could scupper a possible move to Real Madrid.

However, despite the ongoing uncertainty over his future, Alonso insists he is still fully committed to the Reds’ pre-season build up.

“I would never fake an injury not to play,” he said.

“I hurt my ankle in training but it is much better now. I trained on Thursday evening and again today.

“Now I hope to play in the game on Sunday. I am certainly training for that but whether I will play or not you will need to ask Rafa.”

Reports from Spain that Alonso would be flying home early to conclude a £30million transfer were also wide of the mark.

“I will be here with the squad until the end of the tour,” he added.

Meanwhile, Alonso believes Liverpool will have to reach the 90-point mark next season if they are going to end their long wait to be crowned champions.

The Reds picked up 86 last season – a club record in the Premier League – but still finished four adrift of Manchester United.

“It is very difficult to win the Premier League but if we do things better than last season then we will have a good chance,” he said.

“We did really well against the top four teams last season but we drew too many games at home against other clubs which meant we weren’t in a strong position going into the last few matches.

“At the start of last season we wanted to progress and we did that.

“We were not able to win it but we went a lot closer than in previous seasons.

“This season we have to be looking to get up to 90 points.

“If we’re able to continue to progress then we will have a good chance. We certainly have the belief.”

Alonso was speaking alongside Kenny Dalglish at an adidas coaching clinic held at Victoria Junior College in Singapore.

“It’s brilliant to see they are developing football in this country,” Alonso said.

“It’s been amazing for us to come to a place like this which is so far away from Liverpool and feel the support they have for the club.

“The supporters here are just as passionate as they are in Liverpool.”

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