Dalglish orders no 'petty lips' at Liverpool
It is a sign of the strong spirit Kenny Dalglish has installed inside Liverpool's dressing room that Luis Suarez decided to fill his free afternoon on Tuesday by cheering the reserves to a 5-1 victory over Sunderland.
But as the Liverpool manager contemplates changes to the team that won at Chelsea ahead of Manchester City's visit to Anfield on Sunday, Dalglish has made it clear he will not allow players left out in the cold to disrupt the harmony within his squad.
"If the players come in with really good attitudes and not with petty lips when they are left out, it is helpful to everyone," said the Liverpool manager. "If they are not committed to playing, it is not going to be my problem – it is going to be their problem. We will go and get people who are determined to play."
Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson are all sweating on a recall against City after Dalglish's decision to start with Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez at Chelsea was rewarded with a 2-1 win last Sunday.
Carroll scored twice in a 3-0 win over City in the corresponding fixture in April and could return to the side, while Downing may also be recalled. The fact Dalglish could afford the luxury of naming more than £70m worth of signings on the bench at Stamford Bridge illustrates the strength in depth he now has at his disposal. But he is also aware of the impact on those who are left out of the side.
"It is hard for the ones who don't play," added Dalglish. "It's hard to keep them motivated and to keep them going. That is understandable.
"Certainly the XI that started at Chelsea did very well. It was great for the three boys [Carroll, Henderson and Downing] that came on as well. They have only been in the door two minutes. For them to come in with positive attitudes has shown their attitude and determination. It hasn't done anyone any harm.
"It's not pleasant but it is understandable that there is disappointment if you are not playing every game. But it is a long season and everyone is going to be given their chance."
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