Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Calls For Consistency Following Victory Over Manchester United

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes his team must become more consistent and go on a winning run after victory against leaders Manchester United on Sunday.

The Scot is well aware his team’s resounding 3-1 win will be for nothing if they drop points down the line. Liverpool’s previous game in the league was their 3-1 defeat to relegation-threatened West Ham and Dalglish recognizes that his team must show more consistency.

"It is three points but it is not the end of the season for us just because we have had a fantastic result against a team leading the table," he told reporters.

"If we play like that against any team we would be happy with the performance, and it shows you what the players can do and want to do.

"But you can never take away the disappointment of West Ham. We can use that as a reference point."

The Reds' win keeps them in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League this season, a target which at times has looked unlikely.

Dalglish reverted back to a 4-4-2 formation after experimenting with a 3-5-2 shape since their game with Stoke City in February, and the Scot was quick to praise his team for adapting so quickly against the table-topping United, with Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez coming in for particular acclaim.

"You cannot carry anyone in a game against United, everyone has to play," he added.

"Dirk rightly got the headlines for the hat-trick but Luis put in a fantastic performance.

"I have always believed that it is about people so you can have any formation you want, it is the players that make it.

"They were fantastic and it did not matter what formation they played, formation was irrelevant."

Liverpool Have A Promising Future - Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt believes that Liverpool have a promising future due to the arrivals of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

The 30-year-old scored a hat-trick for his side en route to a mammoth victory over Manchester United, whose title chase has been complicated due to suffering two consecutive losses - first against Chelsea, and now the Reds.

The Dutchman has had to play on the wing on several occasions, but manager Kenny Dalglish has restored him to playing as a forward alongside Suarez.

The pair have combined well so far, but the former Feyenoord man remains happy to contribute in any way he can - with Carroll having made just his debut.

"I just want to be important for the club and the team and if the manager wants to play me up front I am more than happy to do it," Kuyt said, according to The Mirror.

"I think it is clicking well with Luis. I gave an assist to him and he gave a couple to me so it is working out quite well.

"And with Andy coming on for his first couple of minutes it looks very promising for the future.

"The manager has plenty of options up front, and hopefully the three of us can play well together."

Kuyt also thanked his team-mates for contributing to his hat-trick, with a special mention for Suarez as the Uruguay international was in stellar form during the game.

"It was very special to score a hat-trick, but I have to thank my team-mates, and especially Luis, who played brilliantly," he said.

"His influence since he arrived here is really good. He scored in his first game, he was very close to scoring against Wigan and he created a goal against West Ham for Glen Johnson.

"For him to be at his best after just a couple of weeks at the club is impossible. But he has shown the will he has to be a great player for Liverpool and I think there is a lot more to see and expect from him."

Suarez Wants More Games

Luis Suarez insists Liverpool fans will have to wait before seeing the best of him.

The Uruguayan shone in the weekend win over Manchester United, which had Reds fans purring over their £23million capture from Ajax.

But Suarez, who was forced to serve a lengthy domestic ban before joining Liverpool, has now found himself having to wait for games.

Suarez cannot play in Liverpool's Europa League campaign as he is ineligible, while the club are also out of the FA Cup, meaning he can only feature in the Premier League games, so that will mean over the next month he will only play twice at the most.

"It is very difficult to play one week and then wait two weeks for the next chance," he bemoaned.

"It is hard for me to get to the right level physically, so it will take some time before the fans see my best - but I'm working towards that every day."

Suarez produced a moment of magic to unlock United's defence for the opening goal on Sunday, and he would have claimed the goal had Dirk Kuyt not put the finishing touch to it just before it crossed.

But he says there are no complaints from him about Kuyt taking the goal, adding: "I spoke with Kuyt about the first goal but it's not important who scored it, I'm just happy it went in!

"It is great for a new player, someone who has played only three games since coming to Liverpool, to have the support of the public like I did on Sunday. It was fantastic."

Kuyt has already sung Suarez's praises and Brazilian ace Lucas Leiva has joined the chorus of those backing the striker to be a huge success.

"He has already settled and looks like he has been here for a long time," said Lucas.

"He is really happy and we have helped him to settle, especially outside of the training ground.

"You have to give him the confidence to show what he can do and he has already shown what he is capable of doing.

"We are happy because when you lose a striker like Fernando you expect to have another one.

"He is a fighter, he has a lot of quality, is very strong and quick and can change the game.

"What he did against United was good, especially the first goal, where he did a great job."

Brazilian Target Delighted With 'Famous' Liverpool Interest

Liverpool are reportedly still in the race to sign Brazilian defender Rafinha.

The Genoa full-back has been on the radar of a number of Barclays Premier League clubs for some time now, with the player revealing that the Anfield outfit made an enquiry last year.

“I had an offer from Liverpool a year ago but Shalke asked for too much money, the value was set too high and negotiations came to an end," the 25-year-old told the Independent newspaper.

Having since moved to Serie 'A', Rafinha is still happy to admit his interest in a potential switch to England, with Spurs also thought to be in the running. Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid lead the chase for Europe, according to the player.

“Again, I was very glad to know my performances had brought interest from a famous team like Liverpool," the player continued.

"Now Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid are talking about me and this makes me very happy. I have to work hard and who knows, in the future maybe I will be playing in the Premier League, a competition I love and I follow."

Valued in the region of €10 million, Rafinha is a regular in the right back position but can also play on the opposite side, a problem area for Liverpool.

With Paul Konchesky failing to impress at Anfield after his summer arrival and Fabio Aurelio thought to be a second choice for Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool boss is believed to be in the market for a defender.

NESV, the club's new owners, proved in January that they are willing to back the manager financially and Dalglish will look to spend their cash on developing the Liverpool squad further at the end of the season.

Liverpool & Tottenham In Fresh Link To Mirko Vucinic

Liverpool and Tottenham are reportedly monitoring the situation of Roma striker Mirko Vucinic with great interest.

Speculation surrounding the 27-year-old's future has increased in recent days after Vucinic's agent hinted that his client could be on his way out of the Stadio Olimpico in the summer.

According to Metro, Liverpool and Spurs have been alerted to the Montenegro international's potential availability but Napoli remains the favourites for his signature.

"Vucinic is always linked with Napoli," his representative Alessandro Lucci told Italian radio station CRC.

"His contract at Roma is until 2013, and he feels fine there and with the club but nothing is impossible in football, and Napoli is fascinating for him.

"They are a team going places and they know they can reach important objectives.

"Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Vucinic would form a devastating trio. They would be the best in Europe.

"But at the moment, no one knows what will happen with Roma in terms of players being sold."

Despite Liverpool signing Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll for a combined £58 million in January, the Anfield club is alleged to still be on the lookout for goalscoring reinforcements.

Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli is known to have identified a number of potential new summer recruits, but whether Vucinic is on his radar in the pursuit of more potent attacking options remains to be seen.

The €25 million-rated striker has been linked with a move to Liverpool in the past and - should the Reds decide to formalize their reported interest - it seems they will have to fight off Spurs in the race for Vucinic.

Spurs are seemingly desperate to land a high-profile striker in the summer having missed out on a number of targets during the winter transfer window.

Fernando Llorente, Sergio Aguero and Giuseppe Rossi were all said to be targeted by Spurs during January and the north London club are preparing to spend heavily when the transfer window reopens.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has previously stated the Tottenham owners' willingness to splash around £30 million on a marquee singing and it could prove to be an enthralling summer of transfer activity at White Hart Lane.

Stevan Jovetić Was Targeted By Reds Last Season

Liverpool tried to sign Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic last season, the player's agent has confirmed.

Jovetic is regarded as one of the top young players in Italy after moving to the Viola from Partizan Belgrade for €8 million in 2008, and Fali Ramadani has revealed that the Anfield outfit made enquiries about his client last term.

"I can confirm that last season Liverpool asked me for Stevan," the agent told calciomercato.com.

"The deal didn't materialize because the player wanted to stay in Florence."

21-year-old Jovetic is yet to feature for his club this term after picking up a serious injury in pre-season, but the future remains bright for the Montenegro international who made his international debut as a young teenager.

It's thought that former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was behind the offer for the player, who was also linked with the Merseysiders in the summer after the arrival of Roy Hodgson.

Despite Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll joining the Reds in January, it's thought that current Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is still considering a move for another striker in the summer.

NESV proved that they are willing to back the manager financially, but it's unclear if Liverpool will look to move for Jovetic again.

Kenny Dalglish Insists Liverpool Have To ‘Temper Enthusiasm’ Of Andy Carroll

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has praised Andy Carroll after the striker made his long-awaited debut for the club in the 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Anfield.

The £35 million record signing came on as a substitute in the 74th minute with the game all but won for the Reds, and Dalglish feels that although the former Newcastle man has to "temper his enthusiasm a bit", he can go on to become a Kop legend.

He said: "He is a good guy. He is not someone who thinks he is superior to anyone else, he just loves playing football and wants to be part and parcel of the club.

"We have to temper his enthusiasm a bit. He is only a young lad, he is going to be big player for this club."

The victory moved Dalglish's side up to sixth in the table but the Scot has insisted that his side have a long way to go before they will be at their arch rivals' level.

He said: "Manchester United are a benchmark for everyone, are they not still top?

"There is no-one who would rather be in their own position than United's.

"The closer you get to the top the more difficult it is to close the gap.

"Moving from 20th to sixth is not as big a problem as moving from two to one so the higher you go the more difficult the step up is.

"United are a great benchmark but our season is not finished.

"We got our reward for the victory in three points in the league, but we just want to keep going and get as many as we possibly can.

"The owners [Fenway Sports Group] are determined to move the club forward within reason. Whatever that is going to be, they will do their best to provide it.

"But the players who played there did not do themselves any harm in terms of being part of the club going forward."

The victory was somewhat of a revenge story for the Scot after Sir Alex Ferguson's side knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup in Dalglish's first match since taking over from Roy Hodgson in January, but the Liverpool chief said that the games were completely different affairs.

He said: "It was a totally different story. They got given a penalty after a minute and we had our captain sent off after 30.

"It was really different to what this was but everybody was disciplined, well tuned in to what they had to do, wanted to do it and did it."

Jamie Carragher Barred From Manchester United Dressing Room Following Nani Tackle

Jamie Carragher was refused entry to the Manchester United dressing-room on Sunday after attempting to apologize for the challenge which left Nani with a gash so deep that the winger’s shin bone was visible through the open wound.

Nani will discover on Tuesday whether he will be sidelined until next month as a result of the injury inflicted by Carragher’s first-half tackle during the 3-1 defeat at Anfield - which resulted in referee Phil Dowd brandishing a yellow card to the Liverpool defender.

Although Carragher made efforts to show his remorse for the injury suffered by Nani, United’s coaching staff turned the 33 year-old away due to the anger within the United camp, not only with the challenge, but Dowd’s failure to dismiss the former England defender.

Steven Gerrard’s actions in urging the injured Nani to "get up" while he lay on the ground with the injury clearly visibly also infuriated United’s players and staff.

Anger at Carragher’s challenge also spread to the directors’ box, where United chief executive David Gill remonstrated with Mike Riley, head of Premier League referees, over Dowd’s response to the incident.

Nani, who was stretchered off as a result of the injury, left Anfield on crutches and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is already preparing to be without the Portugal international for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Liverpool Wonderkid Sends Another Huge Message To King Kenny

Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling showed further glimpses of his potential in a 5-1 thrashing of Blackburn.

The teenager has been earning rave reviews for his performances in both the youth and reserve teams at Liverpool, and scored again in the beating over Rovers just days before an FA Youth Cup clash against Manchester United.

Sterling was part of the Reds senior squad that traveled to Prague for the Europa League clash against Sparta last month, but didn't feature despite huge media speculation surrounding the 16-year-old.

Kenny Dalglish is keen to keep the former QPR academy player out of the spotlight, but his stock continues to rise rapidly, and only a fortnight ago the player scored five for the Liverpool U18s in a 9-0 win over Southend.

Liverpool signed the player for £600,000 just over a year ago, but that figure could rise to £5 million depending on future appearances at Anfield.

Sterling is one of a handful of players impressing for Rodolfo Borrell's side, and the youngsters showed great character after coming from a goal down to beat the visitors.

Adam Morgan (2), Conor Coady and Krisztian Adorjan also got on the score sheet for the young Liverpool side, and the future appears bright for Kenny Dalglish and the Merseysiders.