Kenny: Players drained by friendlies

Kenny: Players drained by friendlies

Published Feb. 12, 2011 7:10 p.m. ET

Kenny Dalglish believes the midweek international action left his Liverpool side tired on Saturday.

The Reds were going for five Premier League victories on the bounce when they welcomed Wigan to Anfield.

They were unable to prolong their winning run, though, as the Latics left Merseyside with a 1-1 draw.

Liverpool were short of the standards they have set over recent weeks, while they were also without talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard.


Dalglish admits going away with their respective countries took its toll on some of his players, preventing them from producing their best.

He said: "It was a game where we started well enough, we pushed forward and scored a goal. It was a good goal by Raul [Meireles], again, and Luis [Suarez] hit the post.

"You could tell that Wednesday night took a lot out of them. There was just that little bit of an edge missing. If that edge had been there I think the final pass would have been there, and there were three or four occasions in the first half when we would have been in. The sharpness was just missing a wee bit, which is understandable.

"We are disappointed not to have taken three points, and with a bit of luck we might have done. I think Wigan, though, might have felt a wee bit aggrieved if they had left here without a point.

"Luis hit the post twice, their goal is offside, but these things happen. We have to dust ourselves down and get on with it. It's not been that damaging."

Dalglish is hoping his walking wounded will be available again for a European encounter with Sparta Prague on Thursday, with Daniel Agger having also missed out against the Latics.

He added: "We think it will only be days rather than weeks. We have got Europa League on Thursday, so we will see how they are for that. We will take it from there."

Meireles, who was forced off after edging Liverpool in front, should also be okay for continental duty after struggling with a sickness over the weekend.

Dalglish said: "It was just a bug. There has been a virus floating around. He has been unfortunate that he was sick.

"It was just during the first half that he didn't feel too clever. He tried to play on, but I don't think it was fair to ask him to do that."