Jay and proud - Dalglish

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Jay Spearing has absolutely nothing to prove, and will be welcomed back into the Liverpool fold with open arms following his three-match suspension reveals Kenny Dalglish.

The 23-year-old midfielder was shown a straight red card in the Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham earlier this month for what was perceived as a dangerous tackle on Moussa Dembele.

However, Dalglish is adamant that Spearing's combative playing style is an important ingredient needed to succeed in the English top-flight, and says it would be crazy for the Reds youngster to change.

"There was no maliciousness in his tackle. He was totally focused on winning the ball," the manager explained. "He did win the ball, but his momentum came through and made contact with Dembele.

"Somebody being over enthusiastic is not something you'd complain about - at that age you'd expect him to be. I'm sure he'll be more knowledgeable for his experience, but there is nothing the wee man needs to change greatly.

"Everybody's character is different, but character is what makes you successful - and the wee man has certainly been successful here. We don't intend - or need to - change the boy's character. He just needs to be a wee bit more mature and I'm sure the three games [suspension] has taught him that."

Dalglish admits the fact Spearing has been missing for the past three fixtures was a bitter pill to swallow in light of the absence of the likes of Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva - who will not play again this season.

But now that he is back and available for the run of games over Christmas, the Liverpool boss is backing the spirited youngster to play his part during a busy festive period.

"It was disappointing to lose him," added Dalglish. "The wee man was doing really well. He's served his punishment and is back in after his three games. Maybe that's an advantage of the games coming quite quickly - the suspension never lasted that long.

"He's got nothing to prove to us - we know what Jay can do, we know what he's about and he's done very well for us in the past. There is no reason to think he's not going to do well in the future."

Premier League
Jay Spearing

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