Kenny happy with Comolli ‘help’

Principal owner John Henry flies in for this weekend’s 215th

Merseyside derby with a number of issues to address. He will meet

Dalglish for the first time in his official capacity as manager for

a second spell after taking over from Roy Hodgson less than a week

ago. Director of football strategy Comolli will be party to some

discussions as he and the 59-year-old Scot try to plot a path

forward after a disappointing six months. Comolli will be a key

component as he has been in the post since November working on

transfer policy and a long-term blueprint. And despite Dalglish’s

extensive knowledge of football at many levels, even having been

out of management for more than a decade, he is happy to defer to

the Frenchman on such matters as he is concentrating on getting

things right with the current squad. “Forget transfers and talk

about the position Damien has,” said Dalglish. “There is so much

demand on a manager’s time that it is important to have someone

actively organising people, going to see other teams for reports on

matches or individual players. “Having conversations daily with

people in the game and seeing what the movement of players are and

then reporting back to the manager so the two of them can make a

decision. “I think it is a fantastic help and I don’t have a

problem with Damien.” A second successive defeat, at Blackpool in

midweek, has made Dalglish’s first home game on Sunday against

Liverpool’s near-neighbours even more significant. There were few

positives to take from the performance at Bloomfield Road but what

is encouraging is the effect the manager appears to have already

had on Fernando Torres. The striker has struggled for goals this

season but the way in which he took his third-minute strike against

the Seasiders was like the Torres of old, racing onto Martin

Kelly’s through-ball to emphatically fire home from a tight angle.

In that moment the Spain international showed more confidence and

intent than he has at any other time this campaign. That, and a

second successive good display from Kelly and a decent performance

from Christian Poulsen on his first league appearance for nearly

two months, gave something for Dalglish to focus on. “It was a

great goal from Fernando and he was a real positive,” said the

Scot. “As was Kelly at right-back and Daniel Agger at centre-back,

who felt unwell before the game, but went right through it. “And

Christian Poulsen did well in the middle, passing and moving.”

Dalglish now has to get more of his players performing closer to

their best as they host Everton on Sunday. The former Reds player

knows the significance of the game, having quit as manager first

time around nearly 20 years ago following a 4-4 draw in the FA Cup

at Goodison Park after the emotional strain of the 1989

Hillsborough disaster finally took its toll. “The derby is always a

great occasion,” said Dalglish. “Every city which has a derby

thinks they have the best one of the lot but ours taking some

beating.” Forward Ryan Babel has admitted a charge of improper

conduct in relation to him posting remarks about, and a picture of,

referee Howard Webb on Twitter. The Holland international has

requested a personal hearing which will take place next Monday.