Dalglish calls for unity, for now


Soccer:Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish has called for issues about manager Roy Hodgson's future to be put aside to allow the team to return to winning ways, but he has accepted there may have to be a "discussion" about the direction the club is heading.

Under-pressure Hodgson awoke on Saturday morning to reports that New England Sports Ventures were actively seeking his replacement with a view to a change at the end of the season - or even sooner if results did not pick up.

The Reds face a crucial home game against Bolton this afternoon looking to prevent three successive Premier League defeats and erase Wednesday's woeful performance against Wolves.

Even the Kop turned on the manager that night with chants of "Dalglish" and, sarcastically, "Hodgson for England". But Dalglish, who applied for the job after Rafael Benitez left in the summer, has called for everyone to get behind the beleaguered boss and the team.

"Let's just press the pause button and throw all our efforts and energies into one basket," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Everyone - whether players, supporters, staff or whatever - has to throw everything towards the one aim and that is to get us three badly needed points from the game against Bolton today.

"Because if everyone sticks together we'll have a better chance of getting those three points. Then if we want to have a discussion after that, we can. But the three points for the club is more important than any single person and how they feel.

"It is about Liverpool Football Club right now - not about any individual. So let's forget the issues today and concentrate on getting those three points. If everybody does their job properly; if everybody sticks together; if the players excite the fans and the fans support the players and everyone is led in one direction, then we should get the result.

"But without everybody being on the same page, it will make it a bit more difficult."

Should Liverpool lose this afternoon, the search for a replacement manager will intensify. NESV favour a young long-term replacement but with the likely candidates - Didier Deschamps (Marseille), Owen Coyle (Bolton) and André Villas Boas (FC Porto) - all contracted to the their clubs, Dalglish is the fans' favourite to step in until the end of the season, at least.

The bookies' favourite remains former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, who was recently let go by Turkish side Galatasaray.