Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists his team will still enter Saturday’s FA Cup Final with Chelsea in confident mood despite a dispiriting 1-0 home loss to Fulham in their last game before the Wembley showpiece.
An early own goal from Martin Skrtel condemned Liverpool to another home loss in a season which has seen them set records for futility in terms of their league form at Anfield.
“If we had won this game 4-0, it wouldn’t have made any difference for Saturday,” said Dalglish. “It won’t affect the Cup final but it’s disappointing and doesn’t mean to say it makes it right. The attitude and desire was not there. But the performance and attitude were very poor and that’s not like us. Our attitude and approach is where it went wrong.
Liverpool have one home league game remaining, coincidentally against Chelsea on Tuesday, and must win to avoid matching their worst ever home season in terms of league wins – the five they recorded in 1948-49. Liverpool are also four goals short of matching their previous worst season in terms of home league goals, the 24 they scored in the 1903-04 campaign. They are also in danger of finishing outside the top eight of English football since 1953-54, a season which ended in relegation.
Hodgson a ‘good manager’, says Gerrard
Meanwhile, former England captain Steven Gerrard, tipped as a possible future skipper, has welcomed the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager of the national side.
“I’ve worked with Roy, he’s a good man and a good manager,” said Gerrard. “It’s important he’s given a chance and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
Hodgson dodged a question earlier on Tuesday over whether Gerrard would replace John Terry after he lost the skipper’s armband over allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand in a league match earlier this season.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.