Emotional return for Dalglish

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish said yesterday that if Blackburn could not win the Premiership title at Ewood Park, then Anfield would be the place he would choose.

Rovers go into the final game of the season with Liverpool knowing victory will give the club their first championship in 81 years. They hold a two- point lead over Manchester United, who travel to West Ham with a better goal difference.

The match at Anfield will be a poignant one for Dalglish, who is still revered in the red half of Merseyside after so much success as a player and manager.

"Liverpool have been the role model for 30 years," Dalglish said. "If I had a choice of not winning the title at Blackburn, I would have to choose Anfield. I lean towards Liverpool for what they did for me and my family. The fans know how to celebrate, but they also appreciate teams that play good football.

"That is not being disrespectful towards Manchester United. You have to admire them for what they have achieved over the last two years. We will go and play and see what happens."

United must win at Upton Park and hope Blackburn slip up at Liverpool to complete a hat-trick of championships, and the first leg of back-to- back League and Cup doubles.

Alex Ferguson, the United manager, has been boosted by his reconciliation with Andrei Kanchelskis. The 26-year-old, out of action since March with a troublesome stomach injury which turned out to be a double hernia, had been linked with a move to Rangers.

"There's been a lot of talk about the player being unsettled, but I think that was because of the problems we had diagnosing his injury and communication difficulties. It was a misunderstanding," Ferguson said.

"With the operation successfully behind him and a better understanding, we have resolved the situation. The language barrier hasn't helped, but we have sorted out the misunderstanding. He is certainly in my plans for the future and I hope he'll be scoring goals for us next year like he did this season."

Kanchelskis may not play again this year, and Ryan Giggs is still struggling with a hamstring problem, although Ferguson hopes he will be fit in time for next Saturday's FA Cup final.

"It really would be an incredible achievement if we succeed," Ferguson said. "We just have to make sure we do our bit, and not worry about what's going on elsewhere."