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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Reds snap up Clarke as first-team coach

Liverpool have appointed former Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle assistant manager Steve Clarke as first-team coach.

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Clarke, who played over 500 senior games for St Mirren and Chelsea, is the first addition to new manager Kenny Dalglish's backroom staff following the departure of Roy Hodgson on Saturday.

"Steve is a great addition to our backroom team and I'm delighted we've been able to bring him into the club,'' Dalglish told Liverpool's official website. "I am looking forward to working with Steve alongside Sammy Lee (assistant manager) and our other technical staff.''

Clarke, the successful former No. 2 to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, said he leapt at the chance to join Dalglish's Anfield revolution.

"I was sat at home doing nothing and now I've got the chance of working with a football great in Kenny Dalglish and also working for one of the world's leading football clubs,'' Clarke said.

"This was something I couldn't turn down. I am grateful for everybody who has given me such a warm welcome, especially all those at Melwood (training ground). I am really looking forward to working with Kenny and the rest of the staff to help bring good times back to the club.''

The appointment of the well-respected Clarke will go some way to silencing the critics who claimed Dalglish, who has not managed for more than a decade, had been out for too long and was not equipped to deal with the modern-day demands of the game.

Clarke, who was at the club's Melwood training ground on Monday morning, was a part of the coaching set-up at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho when the Blues won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carling Cups over three seasons.

Mike Kelly, who Hodgson brought with him from Fulham as coach in the summer, was not involved with the team in their FA Cup defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford yesterday and his departure from Liverpool will be confirmed in due course.

Meanwhile, Reds forward Dirk Kuyt has admitted the players had to shoulder some of the responsibility for Hodgson's departure but said the appointment of club legend Dalglish as his replacement was significant.

"It is very sad that Roy has gone because you can never just blame one man. We must all take the blame and perform better,'' Kuyt said.

"It's disappointing to lose a manager like that but a very big plus that we can bring in someone like Kenny. Kenny Dalglish is a legend and a very important man for this club.

"I think it says everything about him as a man that he is here to help us and put us back where we belong. He is a very experienced man and someone who can have a positive impact on the squad. The most important thing is to make Liverpool a winning team again.''


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