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

PUBLISHED: 06:34 21 January 2012

Norwich City defender Daniel Ayala.

Norwich City defender Daniel Ayala.

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +44814 482222

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.

“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.”

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