Dalglish: 'This was the best place to do it'

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The Independent Online
For Kenny Dalglish, the sound of success came from far away. "The best noise of the day was the final whistle at Upton Park," the Blackburn manager said. "It took the pressure off the result a bit after we'd given away a goal. But over the season we have proved the best side, and it is fitting we have won the title.

"Everyone knows my feelings for Liverpool. If we could not win it at Ewood Park, this was the best place to do it. Like other teams we've had problems this season, but we've conducted ourselves with dignity.

"A lot of things that should have gone our way didn't, but our attitude has been impeccable. Now there's going to be a couple of parties in Blackburn over the next night or so."

The Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, paid his own tribute to the new champions. "I want to congratulate Blackburn and commiserate with Alex Ferguson," Evans said. "I'm delighted for Kenny as well. He's gone to Blackburn and worked really hard to get the result he has over the past three years or so.

"What he's done is brilliant. Whether he's got Jack Walker's money or not, you've got to spend it the right way and he's done a tremendous job."

Walker, the millionaire benefactor of Rovers, said: "When Liverpool scored I could not believe what was happening, but then reporters told us what was happening at West Ham. I thought the Liverpool supporters were terrific - the atmosphere was unbelievable."

Colin Hendry, the Blackburn defender, said: "I did not know what was going on in the last 10 minutes. A draw was as good as a defeat, but then we saw people jumping up and down on the bench and the news carried around the ground. But it was always in our hands. Winning the title means everything. We've given everything, worked hard on the training ground and this is the reward. We're brilliant."

Alan Shearer, whose early goal was cancelled out by John Barnes before Jamie Redknapp scored Liverpool's last-minute winner, said: "No one likes to play in such circumstances. We had to hope West Ham would help us. We were sloppy, they made chances, but it was us all the way.

"I'm sure Manchester United will go on about injuries they have had, but we've had worse ones. We've managed to get through them all and that's a great credit to the squad."

Meanwhile, Ferguson, the United manager, said of his team's challenge: "We needed a bit of luck but it just did not go our way. It's just one of those things. The players are very disappointed, but we will try and lift them for the FA Cup final on Saturday. What makes it more disappointing was Liverpool winning.

"But we could not have done more. I'm proud of the players. Over the last four years we've contested four championships and lost only 22 games out of 168. That's absolutely magnificent and they can be proud of themselves."