Dalglish keeps door open to management

BELFAST, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Kenny Dalglish has left the door open for a return to management after a decade away in a week when his troubled former club Liverpool have hit the headlines on and off the pitch.

Adored by Anfield supporters after a playing and managerial career instrumental to the club's glory days, Dalglish's name has been on the lips of fans, media and bookmakers as the man who might be able to turn around Liverpool's fortunes.

The Scot refused on Friday to discuss anything to do with his former club - be it Liverpool's position in the relegation zone, their potential sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) or his name being mentioned as possibly the next manager.

But he did not rule out management altogether, although he emphasised he was happy in his current role as an ambassador for Liverpool's academy among other things.

"First of all you need to be asked, second it needs to be suitable if you were asked," the 59-year-old told Reuters in an interview when asked if he wanted to manage for the first time since 2000.

"Because you don't say 'No', people think you say 'Yes' but that is not necessarily true either.

"I wouldn't say anything other than I am really happy at the moment. There is nothing definitive either way."

Dalglish put his name forward for the Liverpool job earlier this year once it became clear Rafa Benitez was leaving but recounted in his autobiography that the club offered him a player development role instead.

Roy Hodgson got the job in July and while many fans and commentators have said it is far too early to be calling for the new man's head, there were also fans who chanted Dalglish's name after Sunday's 2-1 home Premier League defeat by Blackpool.


Dalglish, who was at the helm when Liverpool last claimed the English league championship in 1990, won eight league titles as a player and manager at Anfield before leaving for managerial stints at Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Celtic.

His last managerial job ended 10 years ago but he did not think that meant he was out of touch with developments.

"I've never been far away from the game, I don't think it has changed has it? It's not like technology is it?" said Dalglish, speaking on the sidelines of the Grassroots Football Summit in Belfast.

"It's still about people, it's still about getting results. The people might have changed but the principles haven't changed too much. It's a lot more scientific now as regards players' fitness, but that was happening while we were at Blackburn."

He also had a tip for managers who find themselves, as he did at Blackburn under Jack Walker, with a big cash injection from a wealthy owner.

"Spend it as if it was your own money. Make sure the people you buy are going to turn out to be a success," said the Scot, who led Rovers to the Premier League title in 1995.

"There's not anybody ever won a trophy who has not spent money. We never went over the top (at Blackburn), we paid them (the players) what we thought was a fairly decent rate and they were happy to come because they liked what was there not because of money."