• Premier League

Liverpool in no rush to appoint new manager

ESPN staff
May 17, 2012
Andre Villas-Boas is the bookmakers' favourite to replace Kenny Dalglish © PA Photos

Liverpool will take their time in finding a replacement for the axed Kenny Dalglish, managing director Ian Ayre has said.

Dalglish was sacked on Tuesday after less than 18 months in charge at Anfield following a disappointing Premier League campaign which saw the Reds finish eighth.

Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is among the contenders to fill the vacancy, while Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers have both been linked with the post.

But Ayre insists Liverpool will take their time to find their man and will not rush into a decision.

"Whether it was the board of Liverpool recruiting Bill Shankly many years ago or the recruitment of Kenny Dalglish 18 months ago, it's the same process," Ayre told Liverpool's official website.

"The board will create a criteria of what that manager should look like and we'll match that with the best possible candidates and make a decision on that basis. [The time frame] will be dictated by finding the right candidate of the right quality.

"What we want is the best, what we don't want is to choose quickly or choose because there's a time pressure. It'll be about finding the right person who can do the best job for Liverpool Football Club."

Dalglish expressed his disappointment at being axed despite winning the Carling Cup and guiding Liverpool to the FA Cup final, and Ayre insists Dalglish's appointment was not a mistake and the Scot played an important role in his short spell at Anfield.

"It absolutely wasn't a mistake and couldn't be further from it, to be honest," he said. "If you look back across that period, let's be clear - we asked Kenny to come back, he didn't ask for the job.

"He was the person who galvanised everyone around such a difficult time, he brought people together, he brought the club, the fans and the players together. There were issues all over the place and in bringing all of those together he cemented us all with this unity to work together."

The sacking of Dalglish follows in the wake of director of football Damien Comolli's departure, as well as head of sports science Peter Brukner and director of communications Ian Cotton. Ayre denies the club is in disarray and insists Fenway Sports Group has a long-term strategy in place.

He said: "A few people have asked that question saying 'is this Liverpool in some form of disarray?' I'd actually say it's completely the opposite.

"There is a plan, there's been a plan over the last few months of 'what is the next step, how do we go forward, what is the right way forward for Liverpool Football Club?' It's about putting all the parts of that together and then unveiling them at the appropriate times, but there is certainly no concern at my level or the board that we're in disarray.

"We're making the decisions we're making and we're doing the things we're doing because they're part of a bigger plan to take the football club forward."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.