Steve McManaman wants Kenny Dalgish to remain as Liverpool manager

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The Independent Online

Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman believes the fact Kenny Dalglish has rescued the club's season proves he is the right man to take them forward.

The 60-year-old Scot has accrued 20 points from his 10 Barclays Premier League matches in temporary charge since replacing Roy Hodgson in early January.

An equivalent return over an entire season would represent Champions League qualification form - indeed it would place the side second in the table behind Manchester United.

However, the club are struggling to finish fifth after suffering a dreadful first six months under Hodgson, whose haul of 25 points from 20 matches resulted in his departure with the team 12th in the table.

Owner John Henry yesterday said Dalglish had done "very well" but a long-term contract for the man rated the club's greatest player has still to be offered.

McManaman would have no hesitation in asking Dalglish to continue on a permanent basis beyond the end of the season.

"Who else can you name that is available at the moment that would be a more suitable candidate for the job on a full-time basis than Kenny? There isn't anyone," said the former England international.

"He has rescued a pretty average season really if you are a Liverpool fan.

"I think everyone knows that the Reds won't win the league without significant investment but now everybody is walking around with a smile on their face and that's down to Kenny.

"I am sure that he is definitely the right man to restore Liverpool Football Club to where they should be."

Dalglish has not only had an influence on the pitch, he has also quickly effected changes off it.

In the last couple of years Liverpool have been portrayed as a club in crisis, with the dysfunctional leadership of former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and the short, failed reign of Hodgson damaging the club's proud reputation.

The purchase of the club by Fenway Sports Group in October helped provide a degree of stability but it was only when the American owners asked Dalglish to take over that things started to come together.

Even Henry, after yesterday's win at Sunderland, referred to 'the Liverpool way' of conducting business, and McManaman believes the installation of a more private, considered way of operating is down to the new manager.

"He has unified the club and taken them from just outside the relegation zone to the lofty heights of sixth in the league," said McManaman, speaking to FootballFanCast.com at the Heineken sponsored Champions League Trophy Tour.

"The club started to have headlines splattered on both the front and back pages of the newspapers and that is not healthy.

"Back in January, when I spoke to people about Liverpool, everyone was moaning and asking what was happening at the club.

"Now everyone seems happier and they know that the team is ticking along.

"He has brought a lot of old school values back to the club. There are certain things that should be sacrosanct within the club and he understands that."

Steve McManaman was speaking with FootballFanCast at the Heineken sponsored Champions League Trophy Tour.

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