English Premiership

Dalglish ready for homecoming

2011-01-15 16:02
Kenny Dalglish

Liverpool - Kenny Dalglish has urged Liverpool to treat Sunday's Merseyside derby as just another game as he prepares for what promises to be an emotion-filled Anfield homecoming.

Dalglish was re-instated as the boss at Anfield following Roy Hodgson's departure a week ago, almost 19 years since he was last in charge at Liverpool.

His first game back in the Anfield dugout will be against city rivals Everton in the 215th Merseyside derby.

Apart from Dalglish's return and local pride, both teams also desperately need a win to move away from the wrong end of the Premier League table.

The Reds sit in 13th spot on just 25 points - only four points above the relegation zone and it is that statistic more than local bragging rights which is concerning Dalglish.

"A derby win would give them, the supporters of Liverpool and everybody a great lift, but would only still give us three points," he said.

"And we've got another game coming up the following week that we will want to get three points from too.

"We understand what the derby is all about, the people will hopefully understand we want to go and win it, but they've also got to understand it's three points."

Liverpool's principal owner John Henry from Fenway Sports Group is flying in from America for Sunday's match and he also wants to discuss the short-term future with Dalglish and organise how much money he will get to spend in this transfer window.

Dalglish is only in charge until the end of the season when his position will be re-assessed and he insists he has no idea how big his budget will be.

"We'll be having a conversation," he added.

"I don't know what will be on the agenda, but we'll be having a conversation. As I said to you the other day, I'm delighted with the players we have here and there is no movement one way or another about players.

"We have not even had a conversation about (players), so there is no way I am going to pre-judge anything that is going to happen because if no players come in, you'll say I'm getting my notice, so I can't win."

Everton also have 25 points but sit one place above Liverpool on goal difference, underlining exactly how crucial and pivotal this game could be for the respective clubs' seasons.

However, their hopes of winning at Anfield have been hit by the absence of Tim Cahill, the club's leading scorer, who is featuring at the Asian Cup in Qatar with national side Australia.

"I'll be sad not to be there," Cahill said.

"This is a big chance to get a big result. We know it's a game that could turn their season around again but it's one which could kick ours on too.

"I always feel amazing playing at Anfield, it's a beautiful stadium - the atmosphere. You know you can make a difference for our fans.

"Liverpool are in a bit of bother at the moment but really we've no concern about what's going on there. This is all about us and the desire to do it for the fans, manager David Moyes and ourselves."

Liverpool will be without captain Steven Gerrard who is suspended, plus Jamie Carragher (shoulder) and Jay Spearing (ankle) will also be missing.

For Everton, Cahill is away on international duty while Phil Jagielka (thigh) also misses out.

They will also be missing South African international Steven Pienaar who is set to leave the club after an unnamed team had an offer accepted for the midfielder.

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