Tuesday 16 January 2018

Dalglish denies exit talk as Reds slump to worst league position for 18 seasons

Swansea 1 Liverpool 0

Graham Clutton

Kenny Dalglish is hopeful Liverpool owners John W Henry and Tom Werner will not respond to pressure to end his tenure at Anfield.

After Liverpool's 14th defeat of the season, the manager defended his team's performance amid claims that a replacement is already being discussed.

Danny Graham's 86th minute goal at the Liberty Stadium will not have helped his case.

It left Dalglish to reflect on an unacceptable eighth place finish in the Premier League, one position below bitter rivals Everton and Liverpool's lowest since 1993/94.

It is understood that both Henry and Werner will be in the city this week to reflect on the club's season before meeting with Dalglish for a full debrief. Any decision on the future of the current coaching team will be made after that.

Dalglish feels his side's Carling Cup success and reaching the FA Cup final should be enough to earn him a stay of execution.

"I would expect the owners to have more dignity and integrity than to believe a story in a newspaper," said Dalglish after suggestions that Wigan's former Swansea manager Roberto Martinez was being lined up for a move to Anfield.


If anything, Dalglish's counterpart yesterday, Swansea's Brendan Rodgers, could be further up the list of possible candidates than the Spaniard should the owners decide on a change of direction.

Rodgers has done an impressive job in keeping Swansea in the top flight for another season at least and his team deserved something against Liverpool, too, despite surviving an exacting second half during which Dalglish's team might have had half a dozen goals.

Unfortunately for the Scot, wayward finishing and the performance of Michel Vorm -- who beat away Andy Carroll's bicycle kick in the 63rd minute and saved twice more from the striker -- left the game in the balance and the visitors eventually dropped their guard four minutes from time as Angel Rangel crossed from the right and Graham beat Alexander Doni at his near post.

Dalglish claimed his side deserved better even though they took 40 minutes to register their first attempt on goal. "I think the second-half performance deserved a point," he said. "The goalkeeper's save to stop Andy was fantastic.

"Maybe next year the luck will change for us. We won't run away from the points tally or hide, or say the points tally is satisfactory. We will face up to reality. The performances have been excellent in a lot of cases, but not the points tally. We will try our best to correct that." (© Daily Telegaph London)

Irish Independent

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