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Anfield boss looking on the bright side.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes Tuesday’s Merseyside derby against Everton is the perfect game for his side as they try to turn around their recent slump in form, and stated the Reds’ recent poor results were down to bad luck over anything.
The Anfield side were beaten at Sunderland at the weekend, slumping to a third successive Premier League defeat for the first time in nine years.
But Dalglish knows a derby under the Anfield floodlights against their rivals from across Stanley Park could provide the lift his team needs.
“It is a massive game, like any derby is for any club involved in one,” said the Scot.
“We know how much enjoyment the people get out of winning the game but the players get a lot of enjoyment out of it also.
“The winners get to enjoy it. You get the bragging rights for the city but both clubs come straight out of that into two FA Cup quarter-final ties so you don’t get much time to rest on your laurels – and you wouldn’t want to either.”
Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League have all but evaporated in the wake of recent results, and instead the Reds will slip below Everton in the table if they lose.
The Toffees recent form has been good, with David Moyes’ side unbeaten in nine matches between league and cup, but they have not won away to their great rivals since 1999.
Dalglish believes the only thing stopping his men from getting results on the board just now is a lack of luck.
“It depends what teams you’re playing but certainly it’s not a record you expect from Liverpool,” added the Reds boss, who has never lost successive league matches at Anfield in either of his spells in charge.
“We don’t want to get into the habit of losing games but in between the (three) losses we’ve had a Carling Cup victory.
“I think in both our last defeats we deserved more than what we got.
“They were different performances but we were playing different teams in different conditions.
“We more than matched Sunderland’s attributes and had 56% possession and they had maybe three shots on target and one (goal) out of three isn’t bad – it is better than what we have done.
“The performances are all well and good and very important and if you continue to play well you are going to continue to win games but you always need a bit of luck.”
Dalglish admits Tuesday’s clash is likely to be a fully-committed affair with 11 players having being sent off in the past 14 league meetings of the clubs.
“The derbies are perhaps more frantic and hectic but they will still be competitive,” he said.
“It will always be competitive but it is not malicious – and if it is not competitive you have a problem.
“You cannot take away the competitive spirit of a derby match. If you do that you may as well close the doors and not let anyone in.
“It is a great game to play in, there is a fantastic atmosphere, and the city should be very proud it has two fantastic clubs.
“Overall I think both the clubs have done more good than harm for the city.”