Norwich City’s Ayala backing Chelsea pal Fernando Torres to come good

Defender Daniel Ayala is backing fellow Spaniard and former team-mate Fernando Torres to recapture his goalscoring sparkle – but is hoping to help postpone his return to form.

Ayala made five first team appearances for Liverpool – three of them in the same side as Torres – back in the 2009-10 season.

Today the 21-year-old may have the task of marking the World Cup winner, just as he did in training at his former club.

'I was watching him when I was in Spain so I knew already how good he was,' said Ayala. 'From the first second I saw him at Liverpool I knew how good he was. I trained a lot with him and he's a really good player. I know he's not scoring too many goals at the moment but I know he will come back and score other goals. He is unbelievable. I think maybe he has a little bit of a lack of confidence but he will come back, for sure.'

But, looking ahead to today's Premier League meeting with Chelsea, he added: 'I hope I can do well and try to stop him.'

Ayala, who arrived from Anfield for �750,000 in August, has played City's last four first team games after a long lay-off with a knee injury, partnering Zak Whitbread in the centre of defence.

He said: 'It was very frustrating at the beginning. But now I'm happy to be playing every game.

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'I was coming to every single game, away or at home. It was frustrating because the team was doing well and winning games but I was still feeling part of the team. They are brilliant and they make you feel confident.

'I think Zak has been brilliant. He has so much experience.

'Maybe I play a little bit more with the ball at the back, but he is really strong. He has a lot more experience than me, so I think we've done quite well together.'

One concern for Ayala will be his three yellow cards in successive games – and the penalty he conceded by bringing down Jerome Thomas in last week's 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion.

He said: 'I think it was a penalty. I missed the tackle. I saw the penalty and I shouldn't have gone to ground but it's just one second so you do what you think is the best.

'Sometimes you do bad, sometimes you do well. I hope next time I can do better.'