Kenny glad to be back in groove

Kenny glad to be back in groove

Published Jan. 9, 2011 7:20 p.m. ET

Kenny Dalglish says "it was a no-brainer" to take charge of Liverpool again and has dismissed the critics who doubt his managerial abilities.

Some pundits claim Dalglish has been out of the game too long to be successful at a top-flight club - but the Scot hit back at them on Sunday.

The 59-year-old took his place in the Reds' dugout for the FA Cup third-round defeat at Manchester United for the first time since quitting the club 19 years and 11 months ago.

He has not managed anywhere since a brief spell in charge at Celtic over a decade ago but when the call came to temporarily take charge after Roy Hodgson's departure, he did not have a second thought.

After the game at Old Trafford, Dalglish swept the concerns that he has been away too long to one side and also batted away a question about how he would deal with the pressure.

"I'll deal with the pressure the same way everyone else deals with it," he said.

"You go about your job to the best of your ability and what happens happens.


"How do you know you can do anything unless you try it? I'll give it everything I've got to put this club in a better position.

"Whether that will be sufficient for everyone I don't know but I can't see into the future.

"All I can do is promise what I did when I signed for the club in 1977 - they will get 100 per cent effort from Kenny Dalglish and that is the way I'll go about it."

Dalglish cut short a cruise holiday in the Middle East, returning to England on Saturday night, after receiving a phone call from the club's principal owner John Henry asking if he would take control until the end of the season.

"For me it was a no-brainer. Whatever other people think about it, they are entitled to their opinion, but I'm the one making the decision and I made the one which was best for myself and the club," said the Scot, who met his squad for the first time at 10.30 this morning.

"I was happy on a boat and then I got a phone call from John Henry - being a professional athlete I was at the bar - saying he had spoken to Roy and would I like to come to look after the team.

"It's great to be back, it would have been better in more pleasant circumstances considering the result.

"For me it is a fantastic journey for me over the next six months."

Despite the 1-0 loss against United, having played the game for an hour with 10 men after the sending off of Steven Gerrard, Dalglish saw plenty of positives to encourage him that a turnaround in fortunes was not far away after a disappointing six months under Hodgson.

"We are not going to be pleased to lose a match but the most important thing for us is that we got a great deal of effort and commitment from the players and that was matched by the supporters," added Dalglish, who dismissed suggestions he had already lined up a new assistant manager to help him.

"The reception of the fans was fantastic, unbelievable. It crossed my mind to do a Mourinho or a Gary Neville and run down the touchline to the corner but I never made it.

"The fans have always had a special place for us and thankfully they have a long memory and they could remember happier times and hopefully we can bring those back.

"It is brilliant to be back in the job and it is amazing how quickly your memory comes back to you - it doesn't seem that long since I was in the dressing room.

"And not one of the boys can be faulted for their performance.

"We might pass it better, we might finish it a bit better but this is a difficult place to come and when you concede a penalty in the first minute and a man sent off it is always going to make it difficult.

"But if we get everyone pulling in the same direction we have a chance to improve things."