Martin Skrtel praises 'winner' Kenny Dalglish

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The Independent Online

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel believes Kenny Dalglish's man-management skills have been key in turning around their failing season.

Since the Scot took over from Roy Hodgson in early January after his disastrous six-month spell in charge the Reds have accrued 20 points from 10 matches, losing just twice.

That has put them within touching distance of fifth place - and the final qualifying spot for Europe - in the Barclays Premier League.

Skrtel has echoed the comments of many of his team-mates in admitting the atmosphere is totally different under the 60-year-old and believes it is all down to the approach of the man rated the club's greatest player and the last manager to win the title at Anfield.

Dalglish is has still to have a permanent contract offered to him by owners Fenway Sports Group, having originally been appointed until the end of the season only, but Skrtel would welcome him being given an extended deal.

"He knows how to take the pressure away and protect the squad," said the Slovakia international.

"A lot has changed at the club recently, but the most important thing has been confidence. Kenny has given us that.

"With confidence in football you can achieve great things. Everybody is happy now, looking forward to every single training session, every match.

"If he gets a contract for a long time, I'll be very happy. Every day he makes work interesting and enjoyable.

"We are winning games now. You can tell Kenny is a winner."

Skrtel's future was the subject of speculation back in January when he was enduring a poor run of form but the 26-year-old is happy at Anfield.

"Why would I go anywhere else? I know I am at a huge club - one of the biggest in the world, with a history and a set of supporters that no other club can really match," he told LFC Weekly.

"We have great player like Stevie Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. Not everybody gets to experience this. I am very proud to be here.

"I have a contract for the next three-and-a-half years. I am happy here, so if the manager and people at the club are happy with my work, I'm happy to be here too."

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