Thursday 8 December 2016

Owner hails 'terrific' Dalglish impact

Rory Smith

Published 26/02/2011 | 05:00

Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry has issued another ringing endorsement of Kenny Dalglish's reign as caretaker manager, seemingly increasing the likelihood that the Scot will be asked to take the job on a permanent basis.

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Though Liverpool's parent company Fenway Sports Group is not yet thought to have made a final decision on the managerial position, Henry's consistent praise of Dalglish -- who he appointed until the end of the campaign last month -- suggests the job is now the 59-year-old's to lose.

Henry insisted last week that he felt FSG could not have made "a better choice" than Dalglish when seeking a replacement for Roy Hodgson and yesterday updated his Facebook status to express his delight at the on-pitch improvement since the Scot began his second spell at Anfield.

"Over the last seven matches, I believe, only one goal (and that may have been offside) has been conceded," Henry wrote. "Terrific effort on defense with increasing aggressiveness. We all have to be extremely happy with the progress, work-rate, determination and coaching staff. A total team effort. Great to see."

Dalglish's success puts FSG in a difficult -- if enviable -- position. The consortium had hoped to attract a young, dynamic manager around whom they could rebuild the side as their first permanent managerial appointment; only the severity of the situation Liverpool found themselves in under Hodgson forced the club's owners to approach Dalglish with a temporary remit.

Yet the Scot's impact has been so profound, helping the club move from a relegation battle to a European place in a matter of weeks, that failing to restore Dalglish -- who Henry admits has a "unique" relationship with the fans -- to his throne on a permanent basis would incur the supporters' wrath.

Liverpool are now unbeaten in seven games, have progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League and will travel to West Ham tomorrow with Luis Suarez, the £22.8m signing restored to their side. In the continued absence of the club's record signing, Andy Carroll -- who is expected to return against Manchester United a week tomorrow -- Suarez will most likely be paired in attack at Upton Park with Dirk Kuyt. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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