Dalglish demands focus
Kenny Dalglish is confident Liverpool will be fully focused on facing Blackburn ahead of their FA Cup clash with Everton.
Last Updated: 09/04/12 4:05pm
Kenny Dalglish is confident Liverpool will be fully focused on facing Blackburn ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash with Everton.
The Reds take on Rovers at Ewood Park in the Premier League on Tuesday before they face the Toffees at Wembley four days later.
Dalglish expects his players to be up for the game with Blackburn, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7.30pm, as they bid to halt a dismal run of league form.
"We want to win every game we play in and we try to do that - it'll be no different on Tuesday night," said the Liverpool manager, whose team have won just twice in 2012 and taken only nine points from 13 matches.
"We need to get Tuesday done and dusted before we get ourselves and our minds focused on Saturday.
"The players are used to it. If you play for Liverpool Football Club, every game is a big game.
"I'm sure the boys who've come in who haven't grown up with it will probably realise that as well.
"This is a game we want to go and compete in and we want to go and win, and then Saturday will take care of itself."
The temptation, of course, would be to rest a number of players to give the side the best chance of reaching the FA Cup final, especially as Everton will have played their second Easter fixture 24 hours earlier.
But Dalglish insists there is no reason to do that with the time in between games, with the fixture list being kind to his side for once.
"We've been a wee bit more fortunate than some other teams. Some are playing Saturday-Monday. We're not too bad, Saturday-Tuesday," he added.
"It's tradition and they say that's what the supporters want to see. It's like the festive period.
"Everyone's in the same situation but it's just more difficult for the players, it doesn't give them the recovery time they need.
"But that's what the squad's there for and if you've got a good strong squad then you should be able to cope with it quite well.
"For us, we'll just have to wait and see what's come up from the game at the weekend and pick the team accordingly.
"I think for most teams who are playing it'll be a late shout."
There have been calls in recent weeks, after six defeats in seven games, for some of the club's talented youngsters to be given a run-out now there is nothing left to play for in the league.
Raheem Sterling, 17, made his first-team debut at home to Wigan at the end of last month but at the time Dalglish said it was more down to necessity than invention with a number of players injured.
And while Jon Flanagan, 19, has been deputising at right-back and 20-year-old Jonjo Shelvey has started the last two matches, the Reds boss is in no hurry to throw in younger players when the team are struggling for results.
"The young boys came in last year, Flanno (Flanagan) and Jack Robinson were excellent," Dalglish told liverpoolfc.tv.
"Raheem came on (against Wigan), Jonjo has played and Jordan Henderson, 21, is still a young boy.
"But their reaction and response when they've come in has been a credit to themselves.
"At times it is unfair on young players to be thrown in before they're ready. We've got to look after that and we do.
"They'll get much more benefit out of it if we make the decision about when they should play, rather than being forced to play.
"We've been delighted with the progress they've made.
"We bring some of the other young boys from the Academy here (to Melwood) to train as well and that stands them in good stead if they ever have to be thrown in because they've seen the players every day and they've trained here."