Kenny Dalglish happy to be back at Liverpool despite eventful year

 

Kenny Dalglish has had an eventful year as Liverpool manager, but would not change anything about the last 12 months.

Sunday is the anniversary of the Scot's return as boss at Anfield and he marks the end of his first year in the same way it began - with a third round FA Cup tie.

The task, at home to League One Oldham tonight, is slightly easier than when he took over from Roy Hodgson 24 hours before a trip to Old Trafford where they lost 1-0 to Manchester United.

In the intervening time he has overseen the club breaking their transfer record by buying Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £35million and, more recently, had to deal with the fallout from Luis Suarez's racism case.

"It's been hectic and a bit eventful at times but I wouldn't have changed it," Dalglish said. "It's been busy, especially when the transfer windows have been open.

"On the football side of it you can see the progression that's been made on the pitch.

"Just being asked to come back, that's my highlight. I was very fortunate to be asked the question and when (owner) John Henry said he'd like me to stay on (in May), it was equally as much of a highlight.

"I'm delighted to be here and happy with the way things are going, but at the same time I think we can do better."

The Scot, the last man to lead Liverpool to the league title, paid tribute to the support he had received behind the scenes.

"We've been delighted with the work Steve Clarke's (the coach appointed when Dalglish arrived) put in - he's been fantastic," he told liverpoolfc.tv.

"Sammy (Lee) was here at the beginning and Kevin Keen has come in since. The support we've had from the people I've mentioned has been fantastic.

"Damien Comolli (director of football) has put in a lot of hard work in the recruitment and selling of players."

Some of those new arrivals will be in action tonight against Oldham, although with the first leg of a Carling Cup semi-final next week Dalglish admits he plans to give fringe players a run-out.

"We've always said how strong the squad is and maybe it's an opportunity for us to give the people in that squad the gratitude they deserve by giving them an opportunity to start the game," Dalglish added.

"But that's not to say we're undermining or being disrespectful in any way. We'll treat Oldham with complete respect.

"League positions don't matter in cup competitions or in any game. On any one day, any team can beat anyone else.

"If you're not prepared for it mentally and physically, you're going to make it much more difficult for yourself."

PA

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