Liverpool must survive without Steven Gerrard says Kenny Dalglish

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted no player is bigger than the club as he heads to Blackpool tonight without suspended captain Steven Gerrard.

The England midfielder was sent off in Sunday's FA Cup exit at Manchester United and is now serving a three-match ban which will also mean he misses this weekend's Merseyside derby at home to Everton.

However, Dalglish has been quick to try to engender the close 'family' atmosphere he enjoyed more than 20 years ago as player and manager at Anfield.

And that means not worrying about star names and concentrating on the team.

"Any team which has Steven Gerrard in it is going to be much better than one without it," said Dalglish, who takes charge of his first Barclays Premier League match since taking over from Roy Hodgson last Saturday.

"But we have to get on with it and the most important people for us are the ones which are available, not the ones who are unavailable because they can't dictate the result of games.

"We will concentrate on the ones we do have, without being disrespectful to the ones who are not there."

Dalglish also stressed everyone was treated the same, which meant Fernando Torres would not get any special attention as they try to get their star striker scoring again.

The Spain international has scored just six times in 22 matches and only once in his last eight games this season.

"In the games I've been in charge he has been brilliant," joked Dalglish.

"It is strange when you talk about people of his calibre having a lack of confidence but at the same time he is still a top goalscorer and someone everyone fears when he goes on the pitch.

"We will do our best to get as much as we possibly can from Fernando, the same as we will do for every other player.

"This club has never been about one individual, it has been about a collection and a team and we are a team.

"It is up to us to try to help Fernando as much as we possibly can and also help each other."

Blackpool's 2-1 victory at Anfield helped push Liverpool into the relegation zone back in October and contributed to the club's worst start to a season since 1953/54.

Dalglish watched that game from the directors' box. He admitted Liverpool were second-best that day and is keen to avoid a repeat at Bloomfield Road.

"They came here and deservedly won 2-1 but we are going to their place so it is all on us to get a result," he said.

"But we have total respect for them and what they have done and the fantastic start they have had.

"On the pitch they have been fantastic and a breath of fresh air.

"I think they deserve fantastic credit for the way they have gone about their job.

"We have to be up for it to make sure we don't come away from Blackpool with the same result we had at Anfield - a defeat."



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