Dalglish: We must fix away record
Kenny Dalglish is still searching for his first victory after returning as Liverpool manager and heads to Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow admitting he has no explanation for the club's woeful away record.
The Reds have, under three different managers, registered just two Premier League victories away from home in almost 13 months. That record contributed to the difficulties Rafael Benitez had before his departure in June and was a major factor in Roy Hodgson leaving after just six months.
Dalglish could not halt the slide with an inauspicious first defeat at Blackpool nine days ago but goes to Molineux still trying to work out why his team have been so bad on the road.
"It's surprising. The reasons why have yet to be fathomed," he said. "We've done bad enough [under him] - we lost at Blackpool! But it's up to us. It's up to the players to come together and try to turn it around as quickly as we can. It's very unlike Liverpool not to have a good away record. Normally it's excellent. There are some things we've got to put right and that's one of them."
Another issue to put right is avenging the defeat by Wolves at Anfield last month - one of the worst performances by Liverpool in a long time. It was the result which signalled the beginning of the end of Hodgson's short spell in charge and hastened the return of Dalglish to a role he had not occupied for almost 20 years.
The same players who looked so lethargic in that Wolves defeat have responded positively to Dalglish's arrival in the dugout, even if that has not been reflected in results, with a draw in Sunday's Merseyside derby ending a run of two successive defeats. Dalglish does not see revenge as the primary motivating factor for his players in tomorrow's game against the club second-bottom of the table but only five points below the 13th-placed Reds.
"I suppose it could be but you'd need to ask them that - I can't speak for every one of them," he said. "Different things drive different people but winning games is the greatest feeling in the world, that's the biggest drive. Wolves played very well against us at Anfield and if some people were disappointed with that result and that's what inspires them, then fine.
"But no matter what happened at Anfield we'd still want to go to Molineux and win the game - wherever you get the inspiration from is down to the individual." On getting his first win the 59-year-old Scot added: "I don't know how you evaluate how important [it is] but we'd love to get a victory. Even if we get battered and win 1-0 it wouldn't matter - it'd still be a great lift for everyone.
"If the players keep doing what they've been doing, a victory can't be far away. I thought it might have come at Manchester United, at Blackpool, against Everton, but we've been very encouraged by what the players have done."
Supporters' committee created
In keeping with the theme of unity which Dalglish has been trying to spread since his appointment, the club have announced the creation of a supporters' committee which will have regular dialogue with senior club officials and owners Fenway Sports Group. A group of 17 democratically-elected fans will be formed by the end of March ahead of their first quarterly meeting in May. The owners have pledged to be present for at least half of those meetings.
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner, who has been on Merseyside this week along with principal owner John Henry, insisted they were keen to bring a sense of harmony back to all levels of the club. "You cannot proceed without having mutual understanding with the players and the fans - they are the bedrock of Liverpool," said the American.