Comolli backs Dalglish for permanent position

LIVERPOOL - Interim appointment Kenny Dalglish has all the qualities Liverpool are looking for from their next permanent manager, director of football strategy Damien Comolli said on Monday.

Comolli sat next to the Scot at an Anfield news conference and, listing the attributes he was searching for in a long-term appointment, Dalglish may have been mentally ticking them off his CV.

"Competence will be the first one, someone who will fit into the club philosophy... and is huge on man management," Frenchman Comolli told reporters.

"It's honestly open to people we think fit into what I just described and obviously Kenny will come into this category because he is exactly what I described. There will be a thorough search... and we will see where that takes us."

Charged with turning around the fortunes of the club he played for and managed during their heyday, Dalglish was appointed on Saturday until the end of the season and the burning question has been whether he will be kept on beyond that.

The Scot left the Merseyside team 20 years ago and has been out of management for over a decade but the glistening trophy cabinets that surrounded him on Monday were a reminder of why the club had called on him.

With a rescue mission of propelling Liverpool up the table from 12th place following Roy Hodgson's departure, Dalglish said it was too early to think beyond this season.

"Let's not start running before we can walk," he said. "My understanding is it's until the end of the season.

"If I can get to the end of the season then I'll probably end up being the longest serving manager in the Premiership anyway," he joked.

"If I do really well and somebody better than me comes along, I have no problem whatsoever... I'm here to give help to the club."


Dalglish will need to improve on a season in which nine league defeats have left Liverpool four points above the drop zone, starting with Wednesday's trip to Blackpool followed by Sunday's hotly anticipated derby with Everton.

Despite striker Fernando Torres's dip in form this season as well as others underperforming, Dalglish believes he has the tools for the job.

"The squad of players are a lot better than the form and the points total, they've got to start believing that and we've got to make them believe that and there is nothing better than results to do that," he said.

Dalglish was confident Spain striker Torres would soon rediscover his touch.

"In the games I've been in charge he's been brilliant," he smiled, referring to the 1-0 FA Cup defeat by Manchester United on Sunday, his first game back at the helm.

"He did everything and more than anyone could have asked for. Somebody asked me yesterday for a magic wand for Fernando, I said he doesn't need one, he's got one himself.

"He's still a top goal-scorer and he's still somebody that everybody fears. We'll do our best to get as much as we can from Fernando."

That may also involve persuading Torres to stay at Anfield as media reports have suggested he may be on his way out of a club unlikely to offer Champions League football again next season.