Clarke praises Bellamy contribution

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Steve Clarke has paid tribute to Craig Bellamy for his contribution to the Liverpool side since his deadline day return to Anfield.

The 32-year-old Welshman has been in fine form for the Reds, and was recently rewarded with the club's Standard Chartered Player of the Month award for December.

"Craig has done great for us," Clarke told "He is in a really good moment and his contribution is there for everyone to see.

"We are all really pleased for him, and to be fair we knew what we were getting when we brought him back to this club.

"I worked with Craig for a short time at West Ham, Kevin Keen worked with him before, and we knew the type of player we would be getting. We felt he could make a big contribution to the squad and that's what he has done and continues to do which is great."

Bellamy capped an impressive month with two goals against his former club Newcastle United in the final game of 2011, and reflected positively on his form over the past few weeks.

"I'm happy, it's a nice trophy and it's nice to get the acknowledgements," he said. "It's been a half decent month for me and anytime at a club like this to get the Player of the Month award is a great honour.

"December is always a tricky month as there is a lot of games and I have had the opportunity to play quite a bit and play a good role.

"I've kept myself in good shape and the manager and the coaching staff have been brilliant with me and lucky enough for me I've been able to have an impact on certain games as well."

As Liverpool prepare for tonight's Carling Cup semi-final first leg encounter against Manchester City, assistant manager Clarke insists the players are looking to make a positive start to 2012.

"We have got some big games coming up this month and that's what everybody is involved in football for," he added. "We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can get some positive results."

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