Kenny Dalglish tells players to forget Wembley and concentrate on beating City
Published 25/01/2012 | 10:55
LIVERPOOL manager Kenny Dalglish has warned his players thoughts of a long-awaited return to Wembley must be put on hold until they have completed the job against Manchester City tonight.
The Scot is keen to avoid the mistakes of the weekend when he believes some of the squad were more focused on the Carling Cup semi-final second leg than on tackling Bolton.
A 3-1 loss at the Reebok Stadium highlighted the errors of that attitude but with his side 90 minutes away from their first Wembley final since 1996 the focus has to be on avoiding defeat against the visitors.
"We appreciate our advantage but it won't mean we have got anywhere until after the whistle blows at Anfield," said the Scot, whose side hold a slender 1-0 lead courtesy of Steven Gerrard's penalty a fortnight ago.
"Let's not be running away with ourselves, let's make sure we get the hard work done first.
"We have a slight advantage, we just need to go into the game and compete.
"For us it's important to do our own job, and if we do that then a bit of luck as well wouldn't go amiss.
"It's not going to be a game that's going to be anything other than really difficult for us."
Captain Steven Gerrard echoed the thoughts of his manager by insisting mention of Wembley has been outlawed in the dressing room.
"It has got to be banned because we haven't made it there yet," the England international told Liverpool's official match programme.
"Of course it enters your mind and you dream about it; that helps when it comes to motivation.
"But I don't think any of our players will be getting carried away or thinking we've already done the job.
"We know this is a big game and a tough game."
Liverpool's indifferent home form makes keeping City at bay more complicated.
While they are unbeaten at home this season they have drawn seven of 11 Barclays Premier League matches, scoring just 14 times.
Conversely, Mancini's side are averaging almost three goals a game and Dalglish knows they need to make full use of home advantage if they are to reach their first final since the 2006 FA Cup triumph.
"There'll be loads of support for us but we need to do something that's going to get the supporters on our side," he told liverpoolfc.tv.
"We can't always leave it for them to lift us, sometimes we need to lift them.
"We should never assume we're going to get the fantastic support that we do - we've got to earn that.
"They've got to see that we're up to put in a tremendous effort to get a result for the club."