Carragher backs Dalglish to be manager

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher insisted Fernando Torres could yet be a success with Chelsea after helping spoil the striker's debut for his new club in a 1-0 victory for the Reds today.

The Merseysiders' win came just days after Spain striker Torres left Liverpool for Chelsea in a British record £50million move, claiming the Blues were better placed to claim major honours. But Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles's 68th minute goal - scored moments after Torres was substituted - gave Liverpool a fourth straight win and took them up into sixth place, just six points behind Chelsea.

By contrast, defeat for Carlo Ancelotti's men saw champions Chelsea fail to capitalise on Premier League leaders Manchester United shock 2-1 defeat by strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday. It also all but extinguished their hopes of a successful title defence, with the Londoners ten points adrift of top spot.

The results are obviously going very well. If you're asking me, obviously I'd love him to be the manager.
Jamie Carragher on Kenny Dalglish

"Good players come and go," Liverpool-born Carragher, a one-club man, told Sky Sports. "Fernando is one of the best strikers in the world and I'm sure he'll prove that for Chelsea but he's not with us now. We've got to focus on our own team, do our own jobs and that's what we did," the veteran defender added.

This win saw Liverpool continue their revival under caretaker manager and Anfield great Kenny Dalglish, although Carragher stressed the team had under-performed for former manager Roy Hodgson, sacked earlier in the season after the Reds flirted with the relegation zone.

"I have great respect for Roy so I'd never say 'things have changed for the better' and that type of stuff," explained Carragher. "As a club and as players we didn't do enough to help the manager out - the performances weren't good enough and obviously the managers take the brunt of it.

"Things have improved now and Kenny coming has got everyone onside," added Carragher, who spoke for pretty much all Liverpool fans when he said he hoped the club's American owners would appoint Dalglish on a permament basis. "The results are obviously going very well. If you're asking me, obviously I'd love him to be the manager."

That's four clean sheets on the bounce which is really important for us. And four victories.
Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool manager

For his part Dalglish refused to be drawn on his future and praised the Fenway Sports Group, headed by John W Henry, for providing him with the funds to bring forwards Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez to Anfield on the back of the transfer window exits of Torres and Ryan Babel.

"My concern is the Wigan match next week," said Dalglish. "The owners have been fantastic in their support during the transfer window. "You've got to give credit to them. I think by their actions they are making decisions that are in the best interests of this football club," the former Scotland striker, widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest player, added.

Turning to the team's recent form, Dalglish - who in his first spell in charge became the last Liverpool manager to guide the north-west side to the English title, in 1990 - said: "That's four clean sheets on the bounce which is really important for us. And four victories."

Ancelotti refused to make too much of penalty appeals that went against his side, the Italian saying: "We did not play well. Our performance was not good enough to win this game. Liverpool defended very well and we were not able to find the space."