Dalgish enjoys ‘special’ landmark

The Scot had waited 9,394 days to get the chance to lead the Reds

in continental competition as the ban on English clubs after the

Heysel disaster had denied him first time round as boss.

Unfortunately, his side could not produce the win to mark the

occasion but the 59-year-old Scot said the turgid 0-0 draw was

still memorable for him. “It is special but every time you go into

the dugout for this club it is special,” he said. “It is a club

with fantastic tradition and pride and to get a first opportunity

to take the club that I served as player and manager before into

Europe was fantastic. “It was an honour for me because of the

history this club has in Europe. “It was a bit of a milestone for

myself because it was the first game in Europe I’d been in charge

of the club.” Sparta created the best of the few chances in the

first leg of the last-32 tie but the game was disjointed

throughout. “It was a difficult game for us,” added Dalglish. “We

would rather have been more offensive but circumstances dictated

the way we played with the players we had available. “Nil-nil is

not the best result we could have got but it is not the worst

either. “Next week you can anticipate it being a different game.”

The 59-year-old Scot insisted there were plenty of positives to

take out of the trip. “There was a lot of value in the game. Soto

(Kyrgiakos) got a game, Danny Wilson got a game and David Ngog got

a start up front. Joe Cole was back in as well,” he added. “The

game in some ways served its purpose because the lads will gain

great benefit from that and the young lads (from the youth team who

travelled) have gained experience.” The only downside to the night

was an injury to Fabio Aurelio in the first half. “It is an

adductor strain for Fabio but it’s not too bad,” said Dalglish.

“That (central midfield) was the last place we wanted an injury but

once that had gone that was it.” Sparta coach Jozef Chovanec was

reasonably satisfied with the performance, considering his side are

still on their winter break. “It was certainly was not easy for us

today because we had not played a competitive game for

two-and-a-half months,” he said. “The result could have been

potentially a matter of a single mistake but neither team made a

mistake. “We had a number of chances and some of those were better

than those of Liverpool but both teams played it pretty

defensively.”