Friday 21 July 2017

Dalglish: Forget mad, wild predictions

Jamie Holland

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has warned that the success he has enjoyed in his first five months in charge will not be replicated next season if complacency sets in.

Having completed the formalities of a three-year contract which gives him the long-term stability to work on a plan to restore former glories, said that "mad, wild predictions" about what could happen in the 2011/12 campaign must be ignored.

With Manchester United on the brink of securing their 19th title, one more than Liverpool's haul, the Anfield faithful are desperate to see their team back on level terms with their arch rivals.

But, with Liverpool destined for their second successive finish outside the top four, Dalglish wants the club to simply build on the progress made during the early part of his second reign as Reds boss.

And he stressed that his appointment as permanent manager would not make that happen automatically.

"We are not going to make any predictions and we cannot afford to think that, because we are finishing strong, we are set up to win things next season," said the 60-year-old.

"We couldn't have asked for much more (since taking over from Roy Hodgson in January), but we will next season.

Dalglish is the last manager to win the title with Liverpool, back in 1990. He quit the following season as he felt he needed a break from the game, having coped admirably with the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989.

The former Kop idol went on to win the Premier League at Blackburn, but always felt he had unfinished business at Anfield and he is now firmly ensconced in what he believes is his spiritual home.

The transformation he has overseen in a short period of time, lifting the club from four points above the relegation zone in 12th to favourites for Europa League qualification, has been remarkable -- a win against Tottenham at Anfield tomorrow will guarantee Liverpool fifth spot.

"The only common denominator between now and my previous time as manager is wanting to get better. That's the priority -- to get better," he added.

"This is no different to last time. If I make more correct than wrong decisions, it won't go too badly. But we are not going to sit here and shout our mouth off about what we are going to do.

"When we came back in January there were no promises from anyone as to what to expect. We never had any expectation other than to do the best we could in every game.

"I never set any targets, although obviously we had to improve. It was an ideal opportunity for me to prove that I had something to offer.

"We're just going to work and do the best we possibly can because a lot of people care an awful lot about this football club. Everyone has got together and you are a stronger force if you are one unit."

By bringing in Dalglish in January, owners Fenway Sports Group appear to have remedied a number of problems at the same time.

Performances and results have improved drastically, the atmosphere is much more positive and there has already been a progression of youngsters from the academy to the first team, with the likes of teenagers John Flanagan and Jack Robinson fast-tracked because of injuries.

Irish Independent

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