Liverpool's Torres proud of handling hatchet men

Fernando Torres insists he has stood up to batterings from English defenders he would never face in Spain.

ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;document.write('');
The Liverpool striker has scored 21 goals in 31 games for his new club, and boss Rafael Benitez concedes one of the main reasons the club splashed out a record fee on the Spain international was because of his bravery.

Torres underlined that with a hat-trick against Middlesbrough last weekend despite a bruising clash with defenders Emanuel Pogatetz and David Wheater.

Benitez expects the former Atletico Madrid man to become the first Liverpool striker to score 20 league goals in a season since Robbie Fowler in 1995-96.

Torres said: "There are so many strong defenders here. But I have settled, I have scored goals and I have coped with the physical side.

"But it is true that I would not be getting hit in the back all the time in Spain like I am here.

"I am happy with the way I have learned to cope with the physical side of the English game."

Have your say