Injuries weaken Dalglish's hand in contract talks
Published 23:01 06/04/11 By David Maddock
Kenny Dalglish's plans to land the Liverpool job with a flourish have been rocked by a devastating injury crisis.
The temporary Reds boss was hoping to strengthen his position in negotiations over making the role permanent with a late assault on the Premier League.
But he could be without up to FIVE key players for the season’s finale, including his influential skipper Steven Gerrard.
And even though the Kop legend is still odds-on to become the next full-time Liverpool boss, a dip in form could potentially weaken his position.
Dalglish was expected to be confirmed as the permanent boss within the last fortnight, but defeats at West Ham and West Brom have reduced the urgency of talks.
Liverpool’s owners are committed to making the Kop idol their manager, but they don’t want to rush into anything, and believe there is no pressure to hurry talks.
King Kenny, for his part, was planning a late surge up the table to make the momentum for his appointment irresistible – and he will be disappointed at the latest setback as he attempts to rally his troops following the defeat by former boss Roy Hodgson at West Brom on Saturday.
He knows that weakens any bargaining position he has, as he looks for a long-term contract.
Centre-half Daniel Agger will miss the rest of the season after damaging knee tendons in the defeat at the Hawthorns.
Yesterday, Dalglish confirmed Agger is out for the season. He said: “Daniel has a problem with the tendon behind his knee and won’t be involved again this season.
“He’ll be a couple of months before he can start training.”
Full-backs Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are facing at least another month out, while Fabio Aurelio is still missing having managed just 28 minutes of action in the past month.
Johnson was injured at the Hawthorns, and rookie Kelly was effectively ruled out until the summer since he suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in training a week ago.
And Dalglish said: “Glen has a hamstring problem which is usually about three or four weeks and it’s the same for Martin.
“It’s disappointing for the players because they want to play in every game.
“We have to get on with what we’ve got.”
Key midfielder Gerrard will miss the rest of the campaign with the damaged groin which kept him out of the West Brom defeat.