Dalglish backs Suarez to fire

Suarez was on Wednesday charged by the Football Association with

using abusive and/or insulting words with reference to race and

ethnic origin against Manchester United’s Patrice Evra after a

month-long investigation. The club are fully supportive of the

24-year-old, who will plead not guilty to the charge, but Dalglish

thinks performances on the pitch will have more of a bearing on the

player than his impending hearing with the FA. Suarez became the

first Uruguay player to score four goals in an international in a

stand-out performance against Chile last Friday in a 2014 World Cup

qualifying victory in Montevideo. Dalglish believes that is

significant and is hopeful he can start finding the target more

regularly for Liverpool as he has scored only two goals – both in

the Carling Cup tie at Stoke – since the Merseyside derby on

October 1. “With Luis getting four in midweek that will not have

done his confidence any harm whatsoever,” said the Reds boss. “It’s

great for Luis to get four goals – I wish it was for us rather than

his country. “Maybe he’s kept some up his sleeve for us in the

coming weeks. “He is a fantastic footballer and has been, as we

have said, fantastic ever since he has come here and we are just

fortunate to have him.” Dalglish, who has been calling for a quick

resolution to the FA investigation into Suarez, refused to be drawn

into any further discussion on the matter. The charge alleges the

Uruguayan of using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour

towards Evra contrary to FA rules, including a reference to the

ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Evra. Liverpool released

a statement on Wednesday in which they said they were “fully

supportive” of the player and Dalglish did not wish to add to that.

Liverpool on Wednesday issued a statement offering their full

support to Suarez, who will plead not guilty to the FA charge which

arose out of their 1-1 draw with Manchester United a month ago. It

read: “We will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns

from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge

and we expect him to request a personal hearing. “Luis remains

determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by

Patrice Evra. “The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this

matter.” Dalglish said on Thursday: “I think the statement says

everything and our position has not changed. That is all we’ve got

to say.” The 60-year-old also dodged questions about FIFA president

Sepp Blatter’s comments about racism, or his perceived lack of it,

in football. Wednesday, ironically about the same time Suarez’s

charge by the FA was being made public, Blatter claimed racism on

the pitch was not a problem and that racist abuse between players

should be settled by a handshake. “There is no racism, there is

maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a

gesture which is not the correct one,” he told CNN Sport. “But also

the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game.

“We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and

this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and

discrimination.” Blatter later claimed he had been misunderstood

but his comments have provoked outrage. Dalglish, however, was

oblivious to the furore enveloping the head of world football’s

governing body. “I never saw it,” said the Scot when asked what he

thought of Blatter’s outspoken views. “I’ll read it before I

comment – and I’ve not read it.”