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Kenny Dalglish: The Merseyside Derby Will Not Be Enjoyable For Everton

Anfield boss looks forward to clash with Goodison Park neighbours.

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Kenny Dalglish is looking forward to facing Everton for the first time as Liverpool manager in 20 years but predicts it will be less enjoyable for his opponents.

February 20 1991 the Reds boss walked out on his beloved club, citing stress from the fallout of the Hillsborough disaster.

It was just a couple of days after seeing Toffees striker Tony Cottee score two late goals in a 4-4 draw extra-time in a fifth-round FA Cup replay.

“The competition is still as intense and the desire to win is the same as before,” Dalglish said.

“I don’t think it has devalued – it doesn’t matter how long ago it was you have been involved or not or how recently.

“It is a Merseyside derby and like everyone who has been involved in it they think it is the most important one.

“This is the biggest one because this is the one I am involved in. There is no point in having a league table of clubs you are not involved with.”

Asked about his memories of that night at Goodison Park just over 20 years ago and the fall-out from it Dalglish added: “We’ve been through all that many times before and there is no point in revisiting it.

“But if we get four goals on Saturday I’ll be delighted. If we get four it will be entertaining but I don’t think it will be entertaining for the Blue half.”

Dalglish’s most memorable derby was the emotional 1989 FA Cup final, which Liverpool won 3-2 barely a month before Hillsborough.

That was closely followed by the 1986 final, a fixture which enhanced the game’s reputation as the “friendly derby”.

“The most poignant derby was the 1989 FA Cup final, not just because we won but for the whole city of Liverpool,” he said.

“Another poignant one was the final in 1986 when you saw fathers going to the game with their kids, one in red and one in blue.

“That spoke volumes for the city in how the people could conduct themselves.

“It would be easy for us to say it is the friendly derby – it probably is the most friendly in the Premier League – but whether it is the same as before is for other people to judge.

“Derbies are always going to be derbies and it is hugely important for this city.”

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