The real Christian Poulsen is ready to stand up

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Christian Poulsen is hoping to win over the Liverpool fans after a sluggish start to his Premier League career.

With Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva both missing for the visit of West Ham on Saturday, the Danish international could be handed a start in midfield and is determined to put his indifferent start to the season behind him.

"There has been a lot of pressure because the start to the season hasn't been so good but everything is in place for me to try to get back into the team and make an impact on Liverpool's season," he said.

"I knew that I was coming to a big club and that competition for places in the team would be very tough.

"I don't think the Liverpool fans have seen the true me yet. I hope we can move further up in the table and I really want to play a big part in it."

Gerrard's absence is a huge blow but manager Roy Hodgson has at least had some good news on the injury front with strikers Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt (both ankle) and defenders Martin Skrtel (ankle and knee) and Glen Johnson (groin) all declared fit.

However, any hope Joe Cole could return against his former club to bring some much-needed creativity have been quashed by Liverpool's head of sports medicine and sports science Peter Brukner.

"Joe will need another week He's nearly there but his hamstring just hasn't come good as quickly as we might have hoped," he said.

"He'll be back in full training at the start of next week and we'd anticipate he'll be available for the Tottenham game on Sunday week."

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