Emile Heskey backs Liverpool strike trio to shine after poor start

Anfield Kop

Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have yet to find the net in the Premier League this season as they have struggled with Daniel Sturridge sidelined.

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey is backing the strike trio of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini to find their form for the club.

The Reds have struggled in front of goal this season with the absence of Daniel Sturridge, and the remaining Reds forwards have yet to find the net in the Premier League this season, though Balotelli has struck in both the Champions League and the League Cup.

Heskey told the Liverpool website: "As you saw with Rickie when he was playing at Southampton, he needs consistency. When he's playing, he gets that form and that's when he gets his goals.

"Mario was pretty much the same when he was at Manchester City, and we saw Fabio Borini at Sunderland. He did really well and breeds confidence."

Heskey himself was a bit of a confidence player during his time at Liverpool and is as good a position as any to comment on the woes of Liverpool's forwards. But there were times when he had enough minutes under his belt, and confidence, the goals would start to flow - especially when the Reds recorded as historic treble in 2001, and finished second in the Premier League the following season. 

Though something of a scapegoat, Heskey had purple patches, and if Mario Balotelli can find some good form in front of goal on a consistent basis, there will certainly be parallels to be drawn.

But the pressure seems to be on Daniel Sturridge to fire Liverpool towards the top four when he returns to fitness - having not played for the Reds since August because of thigh and calf injuries.

Heskey added: "He has got the qualities that Michael [Owen] had when I was playing - when he's not there, you certainly do miss him.

"And when he comes back, he gives you a lift. He doesn't necessarily have to perform well, but he actually gives you a lift to go and perform yourself.

"Having Sturridge coming back will probably give them a little bit of a spark and hopefully kick them into gear to actually go on a little bit of a run."

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