We'll start winning soon, says Dalglish

 

Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, yesterday shrugged off his team's poor record in front of goal this season – 30 goals from 26 Premier League matches – and said their strike rate is of more interest to those outside Anfield than within it.

Last weekend's first home defeat of the season, to Arsenal, summed up Liverpool's season so far, with plenty of good approach play failing to result in goals. More worryingly, Arsenal's late winner for 2-1 put a huge dent in the Merseysiders' hopes of a top-four finish – they are now 10 points adrift of the London club, who occupy that final Champions League spot.

With their poor strike rate, it is surprising that Liverpool have managed to stay in the hunt for so long. Only five clubs have a worse goalscoring record and three are in the bottom five.

After the Arsenal defeat, Dalglish suggested his side may have to learn to win ugly. Yesterday, though, he seemed to backtrack on that."Winning ugly is probably when you are not at your best or when you are down to nine or 10 men and you are back defending and you have to boot it clear to give yourself a bit of respite," he said.

"But I would much rather we play the way we play, and if we have to dig deep I am sure we can. The media seem to be obsessed. We've been through everything we can say. We'll continue to do what we do best – that is to play the way we train, and if we play the way we train we will eventually get our reward.

"For us we had the disappointment immediately after the defeat [against Arsenal] but when you sit down and analyse it, they can't do much more than what they did. There is nothing we said after the game that we feel we need to redress. If they keep playing like that, keep bringing performances like that against a quality side, then we are going to win more than we lose."

Luis Suarez is the club's top scorer this season with 10 goals in 26 appearances, although he is matched in league goals by Craig Bellamy, who has a slightly better strike rate. Suarez is currently Liverpool's premier striker but the Uruguay international has scored just 14 times in 39 appearances since joining in January 2011. He has missed two penalties this season. Prior to that his record was 133 strikes in 212 matches for the Dutch sides Ajax and FC Groningen and Uruguay's Nacional.

Some critics have suggested the 25-year-old is trying to do too much by being creator as well as scorer, while others have said he will not be a prolific striker in England. Dalglish, however, has no doubts about Suarez, who was his first signing on returning to the club for a second spell 14 months ago.

"There is plenty of evidence to show what he can do," said Dalglish. "We know what Luis can do, I think everyone knows what he can do, and I don't think there is a lack of evidence to prove that he is a fantastic footballer."

Dalglish at least had some good news with the captain Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson returning to training yesterday, having missed last weekend with injuries from England duty.

The Liverpool managing director, Ian Ayre, meanwhile, believes the glow from the Carling Cup triumph, the club's first trophy in six years, has to be "grasped with both hands" after months of negative headlines at Anfield.

The club came in for worldwide criticism for their handling of October's Suarez-Patrice Evra race row – which Johnson re-ignited yesterday by accusing the Manchester United defender of stoking up further anti-Suarez feeling by initiating the infamous non-handshake at Old Trafford last month.

Ayre said: "We've had certain things that have gone on that people have put a negative slant on Liverpool – but this is a positive one and we should grasp it with both hands and move forward with it. We've shown we're ready to compete for trophies. It means people see Liverpool are still up there and still a team competing for trophies. That's what we all need."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference