Dalglish's work in progress

Cup progress can help integration, according to Liverpool boss

Kenny Dalglish: The Reds boss is preparing his side for Tuesday's trip to Wolves

Kenny Dalglish: The Reds boss is preparing his side for Tuesday's trip to Wolves

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Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool's progress in cup competitions provides a welcome boost to the club's 'work in progress' and the integration of comparatively new players.

This time last year, the Anfield boss had only just taken over as successor to Roy Hodgson and was on the brink of signing Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

In the summer of 2010, Dalglish made further improvements by bringing in Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Doni.

He is still working on knitting together all his new recruits into a more consistently cohesive unit and even though there has been criticism over Carroll, in particular, the manager is standing by his players.

"It was a great education for the new lads to see what the club stands for and what it means and I think everyone will benefit from that."

Kenny Dalglish

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He thinks the last week, in which Liverpool reached their first final for five years with an aggregate victory over Manchester City in the Carling Cup and then knocked arch-rivals Manchester United out of the FA Cup, could be a significant marker.

Education

"It is a bit of a work in progress. With seven players coming in during the summer, plus the two in January, it is a big ask," said Dalglish.

"If you look at the team who finished the matches in both games there were a lot of them (new signings) playing and I don't suppose many of them have played in semi-finals before.

"Although we drew against United in October, playing them in a cup tie at Anfield is a totally different thing.

"It was a great education for the new lads to see what the club stands for and what it means and I think everyone will benefit from that."

The issue for Dalglish now is to coax the same level of performance out of his players for Tuesday's trip to Wolves.

Criticism

Molineux last January was where he recorded his first win after returning for a second spell as manager, but there are other factors to consider.

While this season they may have beaten the likes of United, Arsenal, Chelsea and City - Liverpool have lost league games to Stoke, Fulham and Bolton and drawn against Norwich, Swansea, Blackburn, Wigan and Sunderland.

After publicly criticising his players in their last Premier League outing at Bolton, the 60-year-old does not think he needs to read the riot act before Wolves.

"I don't think we need any warnings. We have always gone in and played against any opposition and treated them with respect," he said.

"Everyone knows the Premier League is difficult and the quality of the teams there."