Liverpool boss Dalglish pays credit to Norwich City
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish praised Norwich's fighting spirit after City denied his side all three Premier League points at Anfield.
Dalglish managed Paul Lambert during a stint at Celtic and the Reds' legend admitted Lambert's side is cut in the very image of the former Bhoys' midfielder.
'Great credit to Norwich,' said Dalglish. 'Lambo has got them playing for each other and fighting for each other. They play some decent football at times. They are a good side. A couple of weeks ago they played ever so well at Old Trafford and came away with nothing. Maybe they got that little bit of luck today to get them a point. You can always defend better from our point of view,, but we just have to brush ourselves down and move on.'
City had to defend for their collective lives during a ferocious early onslaught in front of the Kop before a desperate final assault was repelled – City's number one John Ruddy the common denominator.
'I think on the balance of the game when you reflect we deserved to take three points from it,' said Dalglish. 'We played really well up to a point, created some great chances and there was some great passing and movement. But when you are only one in front it gives them a bit of encouragement. They were hanging on in there and if you don't take your chances you always give other people a chance.
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'They took it, but the keeper has made a fantastic save from Luis (Suarez) and big Andy (Carroll) has a header. I bet we'll play worse than that and win matches. We have to be better than a goalkeeper and nine times out of 10 we have players in our team who are. (John) Ruddy made some great saves today, especially the one at the end from Luis and it was similar to last week when they kept going at 1-1. Great credit to my boys for how they kept going and they weren't going to accept it. That is the most positive thing – some of the passing and movement and the speed of their play.'
Uruguayan predator Suarez waged a personal war against the visitors during regular periods of a thrilling game. Dalglish was unhappy at the perceived lack of protection from the officials following numerous tussles between Liverpool's number eight and City's backline. The Liverpool boss also delivered a coded post-match defence of his man after a build-up dominated by racism allegations involving Suarez and Manchester United's Patrice Evra from the previous weekend's 1-1 Premier League draw.
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'I'm going to say one thing and I'm not going to add to it,' said Dalglish. 'There are people questioning Luis Suarez's integrity and it is their integrity that needs questioning, not his. On a football pitch he is exemplary, a fantastic footballer and we have 100pc faith in him and the way he conducts himself. He was in there at the beginning and he is in there at the death. We don't have any doubts about him. He is a fantastic asset for us and we are very pleased to have him. He needs some protection and I don't think he got it today. Despite a lot of controversy in the game he got up and was a thorn in Norwich's side for 90 minutes.'
Suarez twice hit the woodwork via deflections from City's overworked defence before Ruddy conjured a wonderfully athletic one-handed save deep in stoppage time.
'You work to get the chances on the day, but hitting the post three or four times as well doesn't help,' said Dalglish. 'If we keep creating them then we have enough people to take those. We take a point and a lot of disappointment because the boys played really well and I don't think that is a reflection on how well we have played. We have to be careful not to get into the habit of saying we played well, but we only got a point. We have got to look to finish teams off. The reason we didn't is in our own hands. We did play well but they haven't got the reward. We have to be more selfish.'