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Midfield void haunts Everton


Poch sees assistant Perez as right hand

By ESPN Staff

Dalglish looking forward to break

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is looking forward to the respite summer will bring after a disappointing season ended on another low note.

But, after a 14th league defeat of the campaign at Swansea, he will be hoping he gets a chance to put things right come August after more speculation about his future. The Scot's detailed report of the last 10 months will make interesting reading for the club's owners Fenway Sports Group.

His assessment of his reign since January 2011, which three months ago brought a first trophy for six years, as being "not too bad'' may be questioned by the Americans after significant investment during that time.

On Sunday, reports suggested Dalglish's future was up in the air with FSG casting admiring glances towards Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, following the relative success he has had with one of the smallest squads and budgets in the Premier League.

But, the Reds boss expects to be fully involved in the planning for next season, even while he is on his summer holidays.

"I think everyone needs a break, no matter what job you do - everyone needs a holiday,'' he said. "You look forward to the games when you're working and you look forward to having a bit of respite when you're not working.

"But it's very seldom, even during the summer, you get a day off any way. You're normally on the phone doing something. I'll get away but the phone is never switched off and there are very few days when you don't answer some calls - that is a fact of life.''

Defeat at Swansea meant Liverpool recorded their lowest total of top-flight league victories (14) and lowest points tally (52) since 1953/54. They also scored the fewest league goals (47) for 20 years and an eighth-placed finish was their worst for 18 years, although they only finished above Fulham on goal difference.

In terms of points Liverpool finished closer to the relegation zone than they did to the top four, which was FSG's supposed minimum requirement at the start of the campaign. On the plus side February's Carling Cup win ended a six-year trophy drought and they also were runners-up in the FA Cup.

Dalglish believes there is enough encouragement in some of the team's displays, if not necessarily the results, to engender optimism for next season.

"There have been some positive things but there has been the disappointment of performances not being matched by results - but we will just carry on,'' he added.

"When you consider the season before when we were out of both cups in January and when I came in we were only four points away from relegation it's not been too bad. In the league they have not got what they deserved for their performance and in the cup ties we've only lost one so that's not bad.''


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