Dalglish stays grounded after Cup win

BY foxsports • April 14, 2012

Kenny Dalglish insists Liverpool remain "a work in progress" after booking an FA Cup final appearance by beating Merseyside rivals Everton 2-1 at Wembley.

The Reds were forced to come from behind after Nikica Jelavic had capitalised on a Jamie Carragher mistake to give the Toffeemen a half-time advantage.

But an equally disastrous blunder from Sylvain Distin gifted Luis Suarez an equaliser before Andy Carroll silenced the doubters by ramming home the winner three minutes from time.

It means Liverpool will have the chance to add an FA Cup to the Carling Cup they won in February when they face either Chelsea or Tottenham at Wembley on May 5.

However, Dalglish is refusing to get carried away.

"It is called a work in progress," he said.

"We have said that many times before and there is no need for us to change.

"After the Carling Cup I said we are not the finished article and we are saying the same thing now."

Nevertheless, after what Dalglish accepts has been a difficult period, culminating in the departure of director of football Damien Comolli on Thursday, a rather strange season would surely be regarded as a success if Liverpool ended it as a double trophy winner.

"Winning gives you a good feeling," he said.

"If you can't enjoy winning, you might as well put the lid on the box because it is time up. Whether it helps or hinders lies with the individual.

"You can get a taste of it, think it is great for us to go forward and try and win something else because you enjoyed that so much or you can go complacent and say that is great we have won a trophy, that is all I wanted to do.

"The most important thing is that the players want to be more successful than they have been."

That Carroll should score the winner was sweeter because the £35million man had wasted a golden chance to equalise at the start of the second half when he nodded Stewart Downing's excellent far-post cross wide from point-blank range.

However, as is his preference, Dalglish spread the praise amongst his entire squad rather than concentrate on the character of one individual, no matter how high profile.

"It is testament to everybody's character," he said.

"They have held themselves together and had the resolve to come back and respond positive to what has not been a great period in the club's history.

"It is not a time for us to sit down and individualise performances and go through everyone who has been on the pitch.

"It is a time for us to enjoy the moment, be respectful to Everton and over the next two or three days get back to work and make sure we are fully focussed on the league games and the cup finals still to come.

"It is not a tap you can turn on and off. If we don't keep going we won't get success."

Matchwinner Carroll told ESPN: "It's the best feeling ever. We worked hard and getting the goal right there at the end was great.

"I had a few chances and should have probably scored earlier.

"But I kept at it and it was a great ball in by Craig, and I just had to score with that one and I did.

"It's a great feeling. I've had some criticism but I've just kept on going. I get the winner here and it's a great feeling. I believe in myself every day."

While Carroll was right in pointing out he should have netted earlier, most obviously when he missed an easier headed chance than the one he converted, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard commended his spirit.

"He doesn't hide and he takes criticism on the chin," Gerrard said.

"That's what we bought him for, to score big goals, and he's delivered today."

Gerrard added: "We were superb in the second half. We showed superb character.

"Certain players have had criticism this week but they've stood up today.

"It's superb to be in the final. It's great to deliver and one more step and we're there."

Asked for his emotions at the final whistle, Carragher told ESPN: "Relief really. Liverpool losing to Everton in the semi-final - it would have been a nightmare."

Carragher was particularly pleased with the outcome after being involved in the defensive mix-up with Daniel Agger that led to the Toffees' opener.

"Just relief that the lads went up the other end and showed what Liverpool is all about," he said.

"We showed we're a special club, special fans. Not many teams can come back. We've done it again. We've got that ability to come back."

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