| 14.4°C Dublin

'Pool owners want answers

KENNY Dalglish will be required to provide a full written report to the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), to explain the club's worst run since 1954 at the end of the season.

Dalglish, director of football Damien Comolli and assistant manager Steve Clarke will all be asked to debrief the American owners on Liverpool's dramatic slump in league form.

All three will have to explain how a season which began with the promise of Champions League football next season has seen Liverpool register one win in their last eight league games.

The trio will come under serious pressure to provide solutions to the crisis which is now gripping Anfield.

The feelgood factor from Liverpool's victory in the Carling Cup looks to have completely disappeared and a major upturn in form is required.

Liverpool have lost six of their past seven league games, during which time they have gone from top-four contenders to falling below rivals Everton.

There is no immediate threat to Dalglish's position, but the imminent FA Cup semi-final with Everton, their league form and his response in the season review could decide whether the Anfield icon retains the trust of his board and his position as manager.

Liverpool's complete lack of form and the below-par displays from big-money signings are a huge concern for owner John Henry.


FSG considers explanations such as bad luck and tiredness for their abysmal displays against QPR and Newcastle to be invalid.

The most important thing for Dalglish will be remedying Liverpool's problems in attack as they average just a goal every 78 minutes, their worst scoring rate for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Liverpool legend John Barnes does not believe Dalglish is immune from criticism - but expects him to ride through it.

Most supporters have given Anfield legend Dalglish wholehearted backing since he returned to the job for a second spell last year and have been reluctant to criticise the Scot.

But the current poor run - just eight points have been collected in 12 games this year - is testing patience and Barnes is not surprised disquiet is growing.

Barnes, one of the star signings of Dalglish's first stint in charge, said: "We're in the results business and Kenny is no different to anyone else.

"If Alex Ferguson goes through a run of losing games, he's going to be in trouble.

"No matter who you are, it's a results-driven business.No one is immune. There are people talking about it - we have seen it, we have heard it.

"It does happen, but you also have to be realistic in terms of the effect it will have on what you are trying to achieve.

"And the people in the know - how much are they going to support you? Kenny is well supported, so he won't take any notice of that."

Amid the bad results, Liverpool have kept their season alive with their cup performances.

They won the Carling Cup in February and face their crunch date with Everton in the FA Cup semi-finals later this month.


Barnes, 48, said: "In the league they have not been consistent enough - and that is what doing well in the league is all about, being consistent week in, week out.

"Liverpool over the years have been a good cup side but it is disappointing in the league."

The former England winger believes everyone needs to get behind Dalglish to propel the club out of their current turmoil.

He said: "You have to know how to get the results and the people who are going to get the results are the team who shows more support for its manager and its players."