x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Kenny Dalglish: Players can handle pressure of Carling Cup final

The Liverpool manager leads his side out against Cardiff City in their long-awaited return to Wembley Stadium today confident that his players can handle the burden of expectation.

Kenny Dalglish has won the league cup four times as a player or manager of Liverpool.
Kenny Dalglish has won the league cup four times as a player or manager of Liverpool.

Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, leads his side out in their long-awaited return to Wembley Stadium today confident that his players can handle the burden of expectation.

Liverpool have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2006 - when the final was played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium - or been in a final since being beaten by AC Milan in the European Champions League the following year.

They have not appeared at Wembley, England's national stadium, since the 1996 FA Cup final, when they lost 1-0 to Manchester United.

Dalglish, however, has faith in the experience of his squad to bring home some much-needed silverware.

"I'm not very emotional. I suppose like everything else in life every person is not going to act the same to situations," said Dalglish, who has made 27 appearances at Wembley as a player and manager.

"Emotion and nerves will be helpful to some and detrimental to others but is part and parcel of football and it is how you handle it.

"There are a lot of people with different personalities who will handle it totally differently.

"But if you are not going to enjoy getting to Wembley you have a bit of a problem."

He said the all-conquering Liverpool sides he played in were not adversely affected by the venue.

"We had our share of victories, and we also lost, but I don't think we won because the other people were more affected by emotions than we were and I don't think we lost because we were more affected then them," he said.

"A final is not really different from any other matches. Character and luck play a huge part in every game.

"You wouldn't say a final is just another game because it is a final at Wembley, but all the other ingredients which go into getting the result are exactly the same."

Liverpool enter the game as favourites against Cardiff City, their opponents from the Championship.

But the Scot knows it would be dangerous to underestimate the second-tier club who have been to Wembley more times than Liverpool in the past five seasons, playing in the FA Cup final and Championship play-off.

"It's not necessarily more pressure," he said. "There is always going to have to be a favourite but you only get out of the match what you put in.

"Favourites have lost before, although not too often, but we have to overcome Cardiff on the day.

"We will go there best prepared and see what happens. We won't jump ahead. We've got the final, which is one step, now let's see what we do when we get there.

"We will try to be as normal and as well prepared as we possibly can and make sure we get all the other things in the right order."

* Press Association

 

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