Maxi earns credit with Dalglish
The Argentinian has scored 11 times in his previous 12 starts, although they have been spread over the final six weeks of last season and the first five months of the current campaign.
He headed the equaliser against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day and, although he has been in and out of the side, the former Atletico Madrid player, 31 next week, nearly always delivers when called upon.
With Newcastle United in town tomorrow all the talk has been about whether Andy Carroll will get a second successive start after Luis Suarez received a one-match ban. But Rodriguez is the player who has the right to feel most aggrieved should he be left out.
"Maxi is a very intelligent footballer," said Dalglish. "He knows how to play, he loves to play but he is not going to play in every game and the same goes for Maxi as every other member of the squad.
"We have to manage him the best way we possibly can and when he plays he doesn't give you too many bad performances. He is a real credit to himself and if he was a bit younger we would have someone in our squad who would be top drawer."
Reds want rewards
A win tomorrow would put Liverpool level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea, albeit having played one match more. At the moment that is all Dalglish is asking for as his side look to regain their UEFA Champions League status.
"There could be more than three teams involved [in the battle] for fourth spot but as long as we are involved and give ourselves a chance then we will be happy with that," he said.
"Our target is to build on the work that we've already done. As we keep saying there's an awful lot of the work we have done that we've been very pleased with.
"There was a big turnaround of players since the start of the season and that includes Andy and Luis from last year. There's a couple of younger ones like Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing that have stepped forward as well.
"We've brought a few players in as well so when you consider the progress they have made since August we are pretty pleased with it. We want to move on and everybody wants the reward for the fantastic play they have produced."