Kenny Dalglish to assess Liverpool's season with club owners

• Dalglish: We will look at how this season played out
• Owners will demand assurances from the manager

Kenny Dalglish has said he will analyse Liverpool's season and the future direction of the club with the club's principal owner, John W Henry, and the chairman, Tom Werner, this summer, after his hopes of a cup double were thwarted by Chelsea.

Dalglish was publicly assured by Werner that his position as manager was safe following the sacking of Damien Comolli as director of football last month. Liverpool's league campaign, however, has continued to deteriorate and without the addition of the FA Cup to silence criticism of the return on Fenway Sports Group's £120m investment in new players, the owners will demand assurances from the manager and his backroom staff when the campaign ends.

"The owners will do the same as us. They will sit and analyse the season at the end of it, when it is finished," Dalglish said. "We will wait and assess the season, and everything that contributes to the season, after the games are finished. I cannot be any more honest than that. Everybody is going to sit down at the end of the season and assess what has happened. That is what we said before a ball was kicked."

A rousing end to the Cup final, inspired by the introduction of Andy Carroll, almost produced a comeback from Liverpool but Dalglish did not absolve his players from criticism entirely, lamenting their "naivety" and a lack of self-belief during a dreadful first-half display in particular. As Daniel Agger surmised: "I really don't know why we played as we did for the first 60 minutes. But we didn't turn up and you cannot afford to do that in an FA Cup final." Carroll was unfortunate not to startagainst Chelsea and was central to the final's key moment, when his header was clawed on to the bar by Petr Cech with the score 2-1 and eight minutes remaining. The £35m striker immediately ran off in celebration but the assistant referee Andrew Garratt correctly ruled the ball had not crossed the line to reprieve Chelsea. Dalglish refused to lament or castigate the officials' decision, insisting they deserved utmost credit if their call proved to be correct, but repeated his long-held view that goal-line technology must be introduced.

"Somebody said it could have been given and sometimes they are. But if it has not gone over [the line], the officials deserve a lot of credit for that. There is no excuse for goal-line technology not to be there, though, and it would be really helpful for referees and linesman. It would not embarrass them in any way, shape or form so I cannot understand why it is not there. It would be helpful rather than harmful for everybody. The game does not even need to stop. I can carry on and somebody could shout 'goal' or 'no goal'."

The Liverpool manager also defended his decision to begin with Carroll on the bench despite the club record signing's impressive form of late and defining contribution against Everton in the semi-final at Wembley. "You are only allowed 11 and I have got to pick a team. I picked the team that I thought was best," he said.

The Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, appeared to share the view that Carroll deserved to start. "He changed the way we played," said Gerrard. "We were a lot better with him in the team, we created a lot more and were a lot more direct and more of a threat, so credit to Andy for that. He came on and has played brilliantly well. His form in the last two or three months has been fantastic. He's certainly pushing for a place back in the England squad in my opinion."

Gerrard also insisted the poor league campaign and immense disappointment of Saturday would not derail the club's long-term progress. He added: "We are Liverpool, we will bounce back. We will strengthen in the summer and we will come back and fight again. That's what this club does. All through my career it's been about highs and lows. This is a big low but we will be back, I will be back, we are Liverpool."


Andy Hunter at Wembley

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