• Premier League

Dalglish threatens to axe Liverpool flops

ESPN staff
January 21, 2012
Kenny Dalglish fumes at his Liverpool players

Kenny Dalglish lambasted his Liverpool players following Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Bolton, warning that they can find other clubs if they continue to perform in such a manner.

The Reds were comprehensively beaten by Bolton, who had previously lost eight of 10 home matches in the Premier League this season. Craig Bellamy's first-half strike was little consolation after Pepe Reina was beaten by Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker, with Gretar Rafn Steinsson putting the seal on Liverpool's misery in the second half.

Dalglish's men have a Carling Cup semi-final, second leg against Manchester City on the horizon, but the Liverpool boss refused to accept that his players had taken their eye off the ball at the Reebok Stadium.

"As well as they [Bolton] did, I think we were equally as bad, " Dalglish told ESPN. "If anybody has any aspirations of staying any length of time at the football club then they'll not be here for much longer if that's the way they want to perform. We expect a much higher level than that.

"It's all well and good saying they might have been distracted because there is a game on Wednesday and another game on Saturday, but every game is a massive game for us. And if they think they can turn the clock on and off, then they won't be turning it on and off at this club."

Dalglish continued to point the finger at his players again in the post-match press conference. "The result is disappointing, but the most disappointing thing for me was that I don't think we were ready to play the game," the Scot continued. "I don't think the approach was correct and I don't think the way we went about our work was correct.

"The foundations of the football club have always been built upon respect for other people and the philosophy that the next game is the most important one - not the one that is two or three [games] down the line.

"If they needed a lesson to be taught to them then today was it. If they think they can just turn up and get a result, not be as competitive and not match the opposition for effort and commitment then they've got a lesson today.

"If they've learned it then fine. Without trying to take anything away from Owen [Coyle] and the way Bolton played, we have to look at ourselves and see what we can do to try and prevent it from happening in the future. That's what we'll do."

Liverpool go into the Carling Cup tie against Manchester City on Wednesday at Anfield with a 1-0 lead, and then play host to Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Asked whether he felt his players may have had one eye on the cup ties, Dalglish replied: "I never asked them what they were thinking about, but I would assume people would have that idea in their mind. If they did it's not correct. It's not correct in the sense that it is not the right way to go about representing this football club.

"We lost a goal after four minutes, but we've got to make sure we're in there and ready to go before we start the match, and I don't think we were. That's probably why we lost a goal after four minutes.

"There's nobody been at this football club that's not had respect for other people. If that is what the problem was then, that they thought this game wasn't as important a game as the next one, then fine but they'll not be here."

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