My door is always open to Kenny Dalglish, says new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
BRENDAN Rodgers has dismissed fears the shadow of ex-Liverpool managers will diminish his chances of Anfield success as he claimed "his door is always open" for Kenny Dalglish.
Roy Hodgson lasted just six months at Liverpool after being preferred to the Kop legend, eventually succumbing to the campaign to have Dalglish reinstated.
Although that was undoubtedly a consequence of a poor start to his reign, to suggest Hodgson ever had the full backing of Liverpool’s supporters requires a stretch of the imagination.
Rodgers, a far more engaging appointment and one who has already shown he is tune with the Kop’s demand for attractive football, is unlikely to suffer in the same way.
However, he will be aware sections of Liverpool’s support felt Dalglish deserved more time, while others still crave the return of Rafa Benítez, whose highly politicised final seasons at the club meant he was never considered for the job by Fenway Sports Group.
Rodgers has not shied away from the issue, suggesting results and performances will determine how swiftly and for how long he is accepted.
“I know there are three types of supporters at every club,” he said. “Number one is those who, no matter who the manager is, they love their club and they will love their manager because Liverpool is their life and their passion. The second group is supporters who will accept you but to earn their real respect you will have to be successful. That’s fine.
"The third group are the critics and you never change them ever. Ever. If you win 4-0 it should have been five, if you win the league you should have won three. I will never worry about that group because you can never affect them.
"I only want to work with the people who love the club. I have always had good relations with the media and with the supporters. I’m open and honest. I understand that not everybody will want me here. But that’s part of the dance.”
Dalglish offered a dignified response to Rodgers’ appointment, congratulating the Northern Irishman on Twitter.
Rodgers says he want his predecessor to remain a frequent visitor to Anfield and would not see this as a threat to his authority.
“I have the ultimate respect for Kenny Dalglish,” he said. “My door is always open for Kenny Dalglish. This is his home. As the chairman said, he is the heart and soul of this club. His love for this club is unrivalled.
"He is the best player in the history of this club. This guy is a legend in the game and here at Liverpool Football Club.
“But what I know is history judges you as a manager and hopefully in time people will look back at what I have achieved here and I can walk beside these people. But there is no way I can try and overtake someone like Kenny Dalglish.
"All I can do is be myself. That is all I’ve ever tried to be; to be a student of the game, to be the very best I could. That has helped me make a meteoric rise but, because of my work, I’ve been able to get the opportunities.”