Liverpool’s cup success highlights progress, says Kenny Dalglish
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes success in the Carling Cup and FA Cup demonstrates the progress the club has made
Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool’s success in the domestic cup competitions highlights the club’s progress over the past season.
Liverpool face Brighton in the FA Cup fifth round at Anfield on Sunday, while the Reds take on Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final on 26 February.
“The players deserve every credit,” Dalglish told the club’s website. “They’ve had a relatively successful season, they’ve put themselves in a good position.
“This time last year we weren’t in both cup competitions and we weren’t as close as four points off fourth spot. We’re pleased with what we’ve done so far but we want to push on and improve where we are.”
Dalglish has vowed to field a strong team against their Championship opposition in the FA Cup, with midfielder Maxi Rodriguez is expected to play a part for the first time since recovering from a foot injury.
“The competition has been a bit undermined in recent years, to be perfectly honest,” Dalglish added. “For us, it’s a pride you take in your football club – if you’re playing a game you want to win it.
“We’ve played a strong team in both cup competitions but we do have a strong squad. Most of the players in the squad have played a significant part in the cup competitions this year. We’ll go out to win the game.”
Liverpool, who eliminated Manchester United in the fourth round, have not reached the quarter-finals of the competition since 2006 – and Dalglish has warned his players to expect a tricky game against Brighton.
“We have got a really difficult game coming up on Sunday,” said Dalglish. “We’ve played them already in the League Cup away and we did particularly well on the night to overcome that, but this will be a hard game.
“Although we have the advantage of being at home with fabulous support behind us, we still need to produce the goods on the pitch. Everybody knows what we stand for – we respect the competition and we respect Brighton.
“You can see the form for yourself. They’ve done well. They’re ninth in the league but it’s a really tight league. I think there are only eight points between them and top spot.
“They want to play a bit of football, they like to move the ball about and they got a fantastic result against Newcastle in the previous round.
“It’s going to be hard for us, we might need to be patient and we’ll certainly need to be committed.”