Kenny Dalglish refuses to change Liverpool style

 

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has not been tempted to try something out of the ordinary in an attempt to rouse his side from their goalscoring slumbers.

The Reds have scored just 21 goals in 17 Barclays Premier League matches and that has cost them dear, particularly at Anfield where they have drawn six of nine matches.

Even bottom side Blackburn left with a point on Boxing Day despite having just one shot on target, conceding masses of possession and relying on Charlie Adam to score an own goal to put them in front.

Dalglish's and the players' frustration is that the team is playing more than well enough, right up until they get in front of goal.

They will be tested again tomorrow night at home to Newcastle, but the Reds boss will send out his players with exactly the same instructions as before.

"If you want to be really positive you could say we are undefeated at home but we've said before we don't want to set our standards that low," the Scot said.

"We want to be winning our home games as often as we possibly can and we've certainly given ourselves opportunities to have won every home game.

"We haven't done that but we will keep going and we believe we will do.

"I suppose every change you make can be termed drastic; we have changed formations, we've changed players, but the one thing we won't change is our philosophy so we'll keep going with that.

"I am sure confidence plays a huge part in everything that you do so there will be some people more confident in front of goal than others.

"But there is nothing a goal for any individual - and the team - wouldn't help.

"They have been really strong so far in the fact they have got in there and continue to do so.

"The other night there were 27 chances, which is massive. We'll keep plugging away there. We just need the Kop to blow one in for us or the goalkeeper to throw one in."

Despite dropping 12 points at home, Liverpool are still only one win away from fourth-placed Chelsea.

They face Newcastle, just a point below them, without striker Luis Suarez as he serves a one-match ban, but are likely to have captain Steven Gerrard in the squad again.

The England international made his return from a two-month injury lay-off with 21 minutes against Blackburn - only his sixth appearance of the season - and will continue to step up his comeback against the Magpies.

"We will manage it as professionally as we did before," said Dalglish, referring to Gerrard's gentle return from six months out after a March groin operation.

"Steven was back to full fitness before he got a freak injury and that's why he had to recuperate again, but the two of them weren't related.

"He is back and looks even better than he did the last time he came back but we are not going to be irresponsible and throw him in and take a chance.

"We know he's fit and we know he just needs game time; in the same way as we monitored him through the last time and we'll do the same this time.

"It has been disappointing for us not to have him fit and available for selection.

"He has been frustrated but I think he feels the bad luck may be behind him and he deserves a bit of good fortune."

Gerrard's return brings vast experience on both the playing and leadership fronts and Dalglish knows that can only enhance what has been a strong dressing room in his absence.

"We have got three captains in the dressing room in Stevie, Carra (Jamie Carragher) and Pepe (Jose Reina)," he added.

"We've always said it's best to have your strongest players, your best players, fit and around the squad, so now we've got the three captains in there now and it must make us better and stronger.

"Given a bit of luck in front of goal I think it will make us a lot stronger on the pitch as well."

PA

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