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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Sunderland v Liverpool FC Preview: Kenny Dalglish eyes ‘final touches’ ahead of trip to Stadium of Light

THE Premier League table may never lie but where Liverpool FC are concerned it doesn’t even come close to telling the full story.

For all the progress that has been made at Anfield this season, the harsh reality is that LFC travel to Sunderland today just one point better off and a place worse off than they were with a dozen games left a year ago.

Considering the fact that the first half of 2010/11 saw the club endure their worst start to a campaign for more than half a century under Roy Hodgson before Kenny Dalglish masterminded a revival, it’s a startling statistic.

“If anyone thinks that the return we’ve had is a true reflection of the way we’ve played then speak up now,” said Dalglish.
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The silence in the press room at Melwood was deafening.

Last Saturday’s last-gasp 2-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal perfectly encapsulated Liverpool FC's league season.

They failed to force home their dominance at Anfield and ended up paying a heavy price for a flurry of missed chances.

Dirk Kuyt’s failure from the spot means Liverpool FC have now equalled the club record of six penalty misses in a season (excluding shoot-outs) previously set in 1963/64 and 1972/73.

When the Dutchman later struck the post, it was the 21st occasion the Reds have been denied by the woodwork this season – more than any other top flight team.

Scoring goals has been their Achilles’ heel with just 30 netted in 26 league games.

It explains why Liverpool FC find themselves seventh in the Premier League and 10 points adrift of the Champions League spot they targeted back in August.

Having already clinched the Carling Cup and still chasing glory in the FA Cup, there is plenty to be positive about.

The squad undoubtedly boasts greater talent and depth than it did a year ago but it’s a source of frustration that the league table doesn’t back that up.

“We’ve been delighted with the way we’ve played but disappointed with some of the results we’ve got because the performances have deserved more,” Dalglish said.

“The points we’ve got is the points we’ve got but I’ll tell you what else doesn’t lie – sixth round of the FA Cup and Carling Cup winners.

“We’ve got most of it right and we’ve just got to put the final touches to it. We will be working as hard as we have done. I think it’s positive the way that they’ve been playing and if they hadn’t been playing as well as they have then they’re not going to create the chances.

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