We're ready to return to top four - Dalglish
Published 21:30 16/12/11 By David Maddock
Kenny Dalglish has warned the Premier League elite that his Liverpool side are about to gate-crash their exclusive party.
But even as the rebuilt Reds' manager voiced a passionate belief they are now good enough to break back into the top four - after two years in the wilderness - he admitted the final step is always the hardest.
Liverpool visit Aston Villa on Sunday, knowing they can rise to fifth if results go their way this weekend - putting them within touching distance of the top as they enter the crucial festive period.
The club's re-emergence this season after a nightmare spell over the past couple of years has been impressive, but that progress is in danger of being undermined by a lack of a cutting edge up front.
Dalglish though, argues his side are on the verge of challenging the top teams once more - a refreshing new, attacking approach has transformed the mood of the club.
"We are close. The fine tuning we need is only slight - but then again some of the smallest steps are the biggest ones to take," explained the Scot.
"Of course, it's going to be tough to break into the top four, the teams that are there or thereabouts are really good sides. It's going to be tough but we'll have a good go at it and see where it takes us.
"How we get the extra points to do that is the question. But we have to keep believing in what we are doing, keep playing as well as we have done, and hope we get that wee bit of extra luck.
"We believe we are doing things the right way, so we'll continue to do that because we don't know any other."
Dalglish has offered the argument that his side could have won every game they've played this season - the devastating defeat at Tottenham apart - and he certainly has a point, because they have wasted chances to have got something from most of their matches.
But a miserly total of just 15 league goals from their own players in 15 matches has cost them dearly, leaving them still shuffling uneasily around the fringes of the fight at the top of the table.
The Reds boss admits to being almost baffled as to why his side have not scored more when they have created so many openings.
He puts it down to a mixture of bad luck, good goalkeeping from opponents, and at times some poor finishing.
Dalglish's belief in the squad though, is so great that he insisted he has no intention of making any signings in January.
And he argued passionately on Friday that his side will make that final step to join the top four elite once more.
"I really think we have played well enough for people to make the judgement we are good enough for the top four for themselves," he said.
"For us, we've been delighted with what we have done. We would love to progress into the top four and the best way to do that is to do what we do well, to keep doing what we have done well.
"People are saying we probably deserve more points, but I do not think there is any need to use the word probably. We have deserved more but we are still progressing.
"It was a great result for Chelsea against Manchester City on Monday, but whether it was a good result for anyone else, who knows? They have got to help themselves.
"We want to keep our own house in order and get our own games won. If people above and around about you are losing matches, then if you don't win you're not getting a great advantage."
Dalglish has said he will offer striker Andy Carroll a chance to cement a place over the match-filled Christmas period.
He will be looking to the big striker to provide some fresh impetus up front, as he looks for the goals needed to rise up the table.
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