Cup not a distraction - Dalglish

Mon, 09 Apr 15:14:23 2012

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is confident his players will be fully focused on facing Blackburn and not have one eye on their weekend FA Cup semi-final derby against Everton.

The run of form since booking their Wembley appearance last month has left the squad open to criticism that they were more interested in the cup than rescuing their league position. After overcoming Stoke in the quarter-finals the Reds lost three successive matches to QPR, Wigan and Newcastle before a home draw against Aston Villa on Saturday.

"We want to win every game we play in and we try to do that - it'll be no different on Tuesday night," said Liverpool manager Dalglish, whose team have won just twice in 2012 and taken only nine points from 13 matches.

Dalglish and the players have always denied that with fourth place out of reach the FA Cup took priority but a trip to the struggling Ewood Park side four days before meeting an Everton side in much better form will once again put their performance under scrutiny.

"We need to get Tuesday done and dusted before we get ourselves and our minds focused on Saturday," said Daglish.

"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.

"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," he said.

 

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account