Pepe Reina has hailed the influence of Kenny Dalglish in the Liverpool dressing-room and hinted that should the Scot be handed the long-term reins at Anfield he could well be persuaded to stay at the club.
The Spanish goalkeeper has been the subject of intense speculation over the last 12 months with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal thought to be keeping tabs on his contract situation.
While the former Villarreal man is tied to the Reds until 2016 it had been suggested he could follow compatriots Rafael Benitez, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa out of the club if a suitable offer was forthcoming.
Speaking about the new optimism on Merseyside, Reina told the Liverpool Echo why he thinks Dalglish heralds a new exciting era at Anfield:
“We all want him to stay. If he stays here on a long-term basis, I would be very happy. Like the rest of the lads.
“We have improved since Kenny became manager. We have beaten all of the big teams. But it is important as players to repeat that in every game. We need to be consistent; with the aggression and commitment, everything.
“We cannot just perform against the top sides because a season is 10 months long. If we get the balance right, we’ll be a lot, lot closer to where we want to be. We started this season, and the last one, not the best. Next time, we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Reflecting on Dalglish's connection with the Liverpool fans, following a stellar playing career at Anfield, Reina continued: "It is important that Kenny knows the club. He is a legend in Liverpool – and I mean a legend because sometimes that word is used too much for other people.
“Kenny knows exactly what people think, and what the supporters want to see.
“Because he was a great player himself, he understands the point of view of a player, and that means he knows how to set standards and what is acceptable to us. He makes everything much easier for us.”