Steven Gerrard due for timely return to Liverpool side

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has stressed the imminent return of captain Steven Gerrard will not detract from the work which will have to be done in the wake of their White Hart Lane humiliation.

Even before the Reds had Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel sent off in yesterday's 4-0 defeat it was apparent they were nowhere near the level Tottenham were playing at.

A second successive defeat, and in particular the first-half performance, will no doubt pose a number of questions but Dalglish stressed they would not be answered by Gerrard's return.

The England midfielder could well end six months on the sidelines after a groin operation in March with an appearance in Wednesday's Carling Cup tie at Brighton.

But bouncing back from the Spurs defeat is more about what the other players do according to the Reds boss.

"It's natural everyone will chase Stevie, especially after we lost 4-0," said Dalglish.

"He has done fantastically well to get where he is. We will monitor his fitness, we will see how it goes, and then we will decide between ourselves when he is fit to play.

"But we have to look at ourselves. We know there is plenty of room for improvement after that [defeat].

"We have to correct the mistakes we made, improve on it and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"That is all we are going to concentrate on.

"We have had good days and we will have a lot more coming but that doesn't mean we dismiss a performance like that.

"It doesn't mean we go away and don't correct what we have done and take it for granted.

"When we played well we went out and worked hard to make it better and we'll do exactly the same."

Dalglish found himself having to defend his selection and his tactics in the wake of the defeat.

With injury to Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly still not 100% fit he persisted with central defender Skrtel at right-back and his weakness in that position was exposed by Gareth Bale, the player on whom the Slovakia international committed the fouls which earned him two yellow cards.

A player like Dirk Kuyt, whose renowned tireless industry may have come in useful against a marauding Spurs side, never made it off the bench despite striker Andy Carroll having to adopt an unfamiliar left-sided position after the second sending-off but Dalglish stood by his decisions.

"This is not about a team, it's about a squad and the squad is going to be used throughout the season," he added.

"When there is a victory no comments are made about the team but if it's a defeat then whatever players you use are wrong.

"How we started the game we would have lost the game irrespective of what happened

"The boys are upset and so they should be - if they weren't they wouldn't be here.

"The football club expects more than a 4-0 defeat when you come away from home."

Striker Luis Suarez has cut a frustrated figure in the last two matches against Stoke and Tottenham, often remonstrating with team-mates about his lack of service.

However, the Uruguay international is looking to put the poor performances behind them.

"It is not easy to lose like we lost [against Spurs]," he wrote on Twitter.

"But we have to work hard to improve. I trust my team partners, come on!"

Dalglish is fortunate this is a Carling Cup week as it means both Adam and Skrtel will serve their one-match suspensions on Wednesday and be available for selection at home to Wolves at the weekend.

He may have to wait to discover the extent of Daniel Agger's injury after the Denmark international was forced off with a rib problem in the first half at Tottenham.

"I don't know how bad it is but it obviously was painful," said the manager.