Dalglish happy with Skrtel

Dalglish happy with Skrtel

Published May. 21, 2011 1:09 p.m. ET

The Slovakia international has played every minute of the Reds' 37 Premier League matches this season, a feat matched only by Everton's Leighton Baines among outfield players.

He will complete a blemish-free 100% record if he stays on the pitch for the full 90 minutes at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Skrtel's presence at the back has been the one constant as injuries to the defence have caused some disruption this season.

Daniel Agger was in and out of the side with niggling problems before a knee injury prematurely ended his campaign, Martin Kelly has not featured since the end of February because of a hamstring injury while fellow full-back Glen Johnson missed most of April with a similar complaint.


Even stalwart Jamie Carragher was not immune, sidelined for two months after dislocating his shoulder.

But Skrtel has remained present throughout, even overcoming a mid-season dip in form around the turn of the year which would probably have cost him his place had the injury situation not been so bad.

"It's a fantastic achievement but we have to wait and see if he's playing on Sunday or not," joked Dalglish, before adding: "No, I wouldn't like to spoil that perfect record.

"He's been fantastic this year and really grown in stature. He's been a real asset for us.

"He gets credit from the people who really matter - the people here. He wouldn't have played every game if he didn't."

While Skrtel's form has picked up since Dalglish's arrival in January, the manager admits the rest of the squad have done plenty to convince him there is not a pressing need for major changes in the summer.

A team which was so underwhelming under Roy Hodgson, prompting claims there would have to be massive investment in playing staff, has been exactly the opposite in Dalglish's five months in charge.

And the Scot said it would have been wrong for him to judge the players on what he had seen before he took over.

"I had no pre-conceived ideas. You have an opinion but it's not definitive," added the 60-year-old.

"When you're on the outside you don't always see the effort and commitment they have - I've noticed that since I've come in.

"A lot of the performances have exceeded what I thought we were capable of.

"That's a great compliment to them, or maybe I'm just thick and didn't appreciate what we had here!"