Hodgson pleased with Cole showing

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Football News

New Liverpool signing Joe Cole admitted to being nervous ahead of his competitive debut at Anfield, but it did not show as the former Chelsea midfielder was the stand-out player in the 2-0 Europa League victory over Rabotnicki.

The 28-year-old did everything but score, providing the cross for David Ngog's opening header before Steven Gerrard converted a penalty after the French striker was fouled just before half-time. It secured a 4-0 aggregate victory over the Macedonians in the third qualifying round, putting them into today's draw for the play-off round.

"It was good, I was nervous before the game but it's always like that when you go to a new club," said the England international. "It was good to get 90 minutes in and get the win in the end."

He added: "The main difference (at Anfield as a Liverpool player) is that I wasn't getting too much stick. That's different.

"I enjoyed it, I needed the 90 minutes. I ran out of petrol a bit with 20 minutes to go but it was needed.

"It would have been nice to have scored but I'm sure that will come soon."

Hodgson had praise for his new signing on his home debut after starting the former Chelsea midfielder in a central role behind striker Ngog.

"Joe is desperate to play. He came here because he thought he might get the opportunity to start more games than he did at Chelsea," said the 62-year-old. "He is an enthusiastic and effervescent footballer and the more he plays the happier he is.

"His energy and enthusiasm tonight meant he had a really good home debut."

On the team performance as a whole Hodgson added: "I am perfectly satisfied; we played some very attractive football and created lots of chances, more than the scoreline suggests."

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Europa League
Joe Cole
David Ngog
Premier League
Steven Gerrard

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