English Premiership

Dalglish: No paranoia here

2012-04-08 11:23
Kenny Dalglish (File)

Liverpool - Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted there is no sense of paranoia at Anfield despite taking issue with a number of decisions given against his team in recent weeks.

The Reds' Premier League problems continued with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday, which was the 11th time in 16 home matches they have failed to win this season.

In the Villa game, Dalglish felt his team should have been given two penalties, for an Alan Hutton challenge on Luis Suarez and for an Eric Lichaj handball.

He also claimed Stephen Ireland could have broken Suarez's foot in a challenge that resulted in the Uruguayan striker being booked for diving.

Dalglish, who also battled with football's authorities over Suarez's eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, is adamant the Reds have not developed a negative attitude towards officials.

"I think if we keep trying it will turn but sometimes for some people paranoia will set in and you think there's an agenda against the football club from people of importance," said the Liverpool great, now in his second spell in charge of the Merseysiders.

"We don't see it that way but I suppose other people will do and when you see the effort and commitment they put into it, for them to refuse a penalty and say the opponent (Lichaj) is unlucky doesn't add up.

"I've never heard a penalty not be given by a referee who said 'The boy was unlucky'. What chance have we got?

"Even Suarez's booking, the guy's trod on him. It's a joke because you can imagine the headlines when he's been booked for diving and he's lucky he hasn't broken his foot," the former Scotland striker added.

"For us, we have to do the best we can for what we're trying to achieve but even in the last three games, the number of decisions that haven't gone our way, but we just need to keep going. Maybe we're too polite."

Ahead of next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against local rivals Everton, Dalglish was boosted by the return of Denmark international Daniel Agger.

The defender has been out since Liverpool's League Cup final victory in February but came on as a substitute in the draw with Villa.

Dalglish, whose side travel to Blackburn on Tuesday, added: "It's great to see everybody back from injury. He came on and filled in at left-back so he will be better for the 20 minutes or so he got in the game."

Chris Herd gave Villa the lead at Anfield before Suarez headed in an equaliser in the closing stages.

Liverpool avoided extending their recent league record to seven defeats in eight matches but this is still their worst run of form in 59 years.

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish felt his youngsters had shown they could be trusted to help keep the Birmingham club in the Premier League.

Injuries have forced McLeish to use the likes of Lichaj, Barry Bannan and Nathan Baker in recent weeks.

At Anfield, he had Andreas Weimann, Enda Stevens, Daniel Johnson, Derrick Williams, Gary Gardner and Samir Carruthers on the bench and said they could all play a part in the future of Villa, six points above the relegation zone with seven matches to play.

"These young boys are doing Villa proud, they run their hearts out for the club, they're young lions and a great credit to the academy," McLeish said.

"Carruthers came on as a sub and took on Steven Gerrard, that's the confidence of the young players. They have really high opinions of themselves without being too cocky about it."

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