Dalglish's return has already improved morale, says Kuyt

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The Independent Football

The impact of Kenny Dalglish's return to Liverpool has yet to have any effect on results, but the dressing room is full of talk about improved form and better morale despite a run of two defeats and a draw since the decision to remove Roy Hodgson as manager.

Liverpool's parent company had hoped that the appointment of Dalglish would somehow galvanise an instant recovery of confidence, pride and belief, but the evidence of the first three games of his second coming suggest it will take more time.

The improvement, however, has been undeniable, not least from striker Fernando Torres who scored against Blackpool and looked far more threatening in the 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday.

"We are playing better. The most important thing is getting results but if we keep playing like that they will come soon. We are disappointed with the result but we are improving and moving in the right direction. We will see what happens in the next game. We need to start picking up three points in every game," the Spaniard said.

Dirk Kuyt said the players fully respect Dalglish for what he achieved as a player and manager at the club, and that he has made Anfield a happier place already.

Kuyt said: "I do not want to be disrespectful to Hodgson because he gave everything he could. He wanted to play in a certain way, but if you put every manager next to each other, they all have their own training sessions, their own tactics, their own way of playing.

"If you see in the last three games we are playing 4-3-3 and with Hodgson it was 4-4-2 and you listen to the manager and make the best of it. He gave everything for the club to do his best and it is shame it did not work out. The way we play [now] is very enjoyable – especially in the first half against Everton, but it was a bit of a shame we did not score more goals.

"Dalglish is one of the most important players and managers for Liverpool and you only have to listen to the crowd to see how important he is for the club, and that's the same for the players."

Kuyt admitted Liverpool's dismal form this season – they are 13th in the Premier League and four points above the relegation zone – has been personally disappointing following the high he enjoyed in the summer representing the Netherlands in the World Cup.

"Six months ago, I was playing in a World Cup final. Last week, I had my second defeat of the season to Blackpool," he said. "That's not something that should have happened, because we are better than that. I am better than that and the team is. We all know we have to perform better and the team has to perform better."

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has been fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association after posting a picture on Twitter of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt.

Everton are facing up to life without Steven Pienaar, and Tim Howard admitted how much he would be missed.

Howard said: "He [Pienaar] has been our engine for the last couple of years. There is no hiding from that. He has been our star player but my feeling, having been at this club for so long, is that we just get on with it. The manager is really shrewd. He's found [Mikel] Arteta, [Tim] Cahill, Pienaar. There will be another. That's the way it is."