Lazar Markovic has failed to shine since his £20m summer move from Benfica and has been an unused substitute in three of the Liverpool’s past four games.
Liverpool take on Swansea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with Swansea and Markovic would probably start the game as Brendan Rodgers would want to rest senior players who play Newcastle this weekend in the league, a competition they desperately need to improve in. Assistant manager Colin Pascoe spoke at the pre-match conference in Rodgers’ absense and said that Markovic would prove his worth.
“Lazar will definitely come good, he’s a quality player,” Pascoe said.
“That’s why we brought him in here. He’s working hard. He stays behind after training to do extra shooting. That’s the kind of guy he is. He wants to do well and he’s a winner.
“We’ve had a lot of new players coming in and it takes time for them to all gel together. But they are all quality players and will fit in fine. It is just that time where they have to bed in. They are training and working hard. Just give them time and then you’ll see the best of them.”
Balotelli has failed to score in his past eight appearances but Pascoe defended thethe £16million signing.
“Mario works hard and he is a great talent,” he said.
“Every day on the training pitch you can see he wants to do more. At the end he is always asking to do more things. Everything will be alright with Mario because you know his hunger is there and he wants to win.
“After every training session he wants to do more shooting, passing, it’s the same with Lazar. Mario wants to do everything to work on his game and us as coaches will help him that way.
“With Mario and Rickie working together and linking up, it worked well on Saturday. We’ve got strikers and midfielders who can all step in and we can rotate it. It’s not all about Mario.
“We’ve got Rickie to step in, we’ve Fabio Borini to step in. It maybe one for Mario, but we’ll just wait and assess who is fit and decide then. The squad is there and we’ll utilise it and rotate a few players.”
Pascoe praised the work of Swansea boss Garry Monk.
“It’s special against your home club and it’s good to see them doing so well,” he added.
“Garry is a fantastic manager and doing a great job there. He is a great bloke. He was a leader on the pitch as a captain, and he is a leader now. You can see that – the way the players are playing for Garry.
“Hopefully it won’t go as far as the last round with all the penalties. But Swansea are no mugs, and they will be hard opposition. They had a great result against Leicester and I’m sure they will come here strong and wanting to win it.
“This competition is very important for us. It will be a tough game but we want to get through.”