After seeing a radically changed Liverpool fail to capitalise on an early breakthrough against Sunderland, Kenny Dalglish said there was no timescale for his signings to bed in.
There were only two survivors in this Liverpool side from the one that had been fortunate to draw 2-2 with Sunderland last September but the end result – two more points dropped – was the same. Dalglish admitted he did not expect Luis Suarez to last the game but would be putting no pressure on the four new signings who made their debuts on Saturday.
"We might gel next week, I don't know," the Liverpool manager said. "What I do know is that the squad is much better than it was last year and we are delighted with the business we have done. Whatever time they need, they will have. It was understandable that at some stage we were going to run out of steam."
Having extended a managerial record in taking points off Liverpool that only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger can better, Steve Bruce pointed out the inherent dangers of making too many changes. The Sunderland manager made 10 signings in the summer but started with just two of them. He said: "You look at them on paper – Downing, Henderson and the rest. They are all good players and in the first 25 minutes they could have been out of sight. The decision I made not to pick too many new players got us the result but on another day, who knows? The big thing is that when you make big changes it is really difficult to put them all in straight away."
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