Kenny Dalglish backs Liverpool players to improve

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The Independent Online

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists belief is the key ingredient which the players require to help turn around their disappointing season.

Nine defeats in 20 Barclays Premier League matches cost former boss Roy Hodgson his job after just six months in charge.

However, forward Dirk Kuyt admitted yesterday the players had to shoulder some of the responsibility.

Now Dalglish has returned to the position he last occupied almost 20 years ago he has set his sights on rebuilding shattered confidence within the dressing room.

"The squad of players are a lot better than the form or points total suggest," he said.

"They have got to start believing that and we have got to make them believe it and there is nothing better than a couple of results to do that.

"Every single person has the same ambition to make this club better and more successful than it is at the moment.

"We just need to get a positive momentum going and turn that positivity into victories.

"We just want to get up and get on with it. We will sink or swim together.

"All I can promise is my very best and if it is good enough we will have more happy days than not."

Dalglish reiterated his stance that he would happily step aside at the end of the season when his temporary role was due to expire if a "better" candidate had been found.

"We'll not start running before we walk," he said.

"If I do really well and there is someone better than me that comes along I will have no problem whatsoever.

"If at the end of the season the owners have their eyes on someone else then I have no problem stepping aside because if I didn't I wouldn't be true to my word.

"I would do it readily if it meant the club improving."

But director of football strategy Damien Comolli has not ruled out the legendary figure's chances of assuming the role for the long term.

Asked what the criteria was for identifying the next permanent manager the Frenchman said: "Competence, someone who will fit into the club and playing philosophy and huge on man-management - the three things most important to the club.

"It is open to people that we think fit into what I have described and Kenny obviously fits into that category."

Asked whether that meant Dalglish would be considered he added: "The answer is yes, there will be a thorough search of what we want to do, where we want to get to and we will talk to Kenny about it and see where it takes us."

Dalglish had his backroom strengthened yesterday with the addition of Jose Mourinho's former assistant manager at Chelsea Steve Clarke, again initially on a deal until the end of the season with the possibility of it becoming more permanent.

"He has not been too unsuccessful, he had a fantastic record at Chelsea," added Dalglish.

"We need good people around us to help take us forward."

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