Kenny Dalglish: FA Cup win could repay only part of my Liverpool debt

• 'I owe the football club a lot more than they owe me'
• Manager has no fitness concerns for Wembley

Kenny Dalglish has claimed he will be forever indebted to Liverpool whether or not he guides the club to a domestic cup double in Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Dalglish could add the FA Cup to February's Carling Cup success in his first full season back at Anfield having admitted, before replacing Roy Hodgson last January, that he felt he owed the club where he achieved legendary status as player and manager, given the manner of his departure in 1991.

Most would argue Dalglish owed Liverpool nothing before his return, not only on account of his football career but his commitment to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The Liverpool manager, however, insists an FA and Carling Cup double would represent minimal repayment to the club on his part.

"I've always said that if I can help the football club in any way, shape or form I would always be there to help. That's all I've done," Dalglish said. "I was lucky to get back in. It was unfortunate for Roy but someone's misfortune is someone else's good fortune.

"I owe the football club a lot more than they owe me. I will always feel that. Because it's Liverpool Football Club and because of the opportunities they have given me. The football club is always more important than any one individual and I'm no different."

Dalglish has overseen a contrasting campaign of cup success and major underachievement in the Premier League, with the club currently eighth despite an expensive recruitment policy last summer that ultimately cost Damien Comolli his job as director of football. Liverpool's principal owner, John W Henry, and the chairman, Tom Werner, are expected to be present at Wembley.

Dalglish admitted: "We would love to have done better in the league but you can't take away from the performances in the cups. If we get the league performances right then next season will be good. We've done brilliantly in the cups and you can't underestimate that but everyone knows we haven't done in the league what we expected ourselves to do let alone what anyone else expected us to do. That's a disappointment.

"But let's wait and see what happens between now and the end of the season before we start making judgments on what we've done. We said that right at the start so I see no reason to change it with three games of the season left.

"At the end of the season we will sit down and have the analysis ourselves. It will be done in house before it's done in public."

With the exception of the long-term injury victims Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam, Dalglish has no fitness concerns for the final. Liverpool have beaten Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge this season, in the league and Carling Cup, when deploying a three-man central defence but he insists those performances will have no influence at Wembley.

"Chelsea are probably getting better results now than when we played them in those games," Dalglish said. "But I don't think it matters what the results were previously. It's just what happens on the day.

"As good as their results have been, like anyone else you need a bit of luck to go with the talent and ability they've got. We have got to compete against them. We know they are a good side but I don't think we're too bad either when to play to our level."


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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