Dalglish backs 'honest' team to end slump

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Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, yesterday admitted that the task of restoring the club to a leading position in Europe again would not be easy, but said he had full confidence in his players. "These lads are genuine and honest," he said, "and they have worked really hard to get any success they have had."

With the club mired in their worst run of league defeats since 1953 and due to face Aston Villa at Anfield today, Dalglish said: "It is always difficult to get back to where they were because they were so high up. But it [the recipe for success] has not changed too much really – it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of effort.

"We have good players who can get [us] there but you need confidence and belief in yourself – and a bit of luck ... We'll work hard because you get nothing if you don't. We just have to keep on going and believing."