LIVERPOOL May 13 – Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes the future for the club is bright following the decision to appoint Anfield great Kenny Dalglish as permanent manager.
Dalglish, widely regarded as Liverpool’s greatest player, signed a three-year contract on Thursday after overseeing a remarkable upturn in the team’s fortunes as caretaker boss following the sacking of Roy Hodgson, now at West Brom in January.
Liverpool were only four points above the relegation zone when Dalglish, the last Reds boss to lead the club to the English title in 1990 during a successful six-year spell in charge that ended with his resignation 20 years ago, returned to the Anfield hotseat.
But they have since risen to fifth in the table under the 60-year-old Scot and England midfielder Gerrard cannot wait for next season.
"It is fantastic news and the news everyone connected with the club has been waiting for," said Gerrard.
"Kenny has lifted the place, the supporters, the players and everyone connected with the club and now we can all look forward to a bright future.
"Before he came in everyone knew it was a difficult time as results were not going well, but sometimes all you need is a change. The last six months has been a lot more positive.
"With Kenny signing and a few more signings, I am sure expectations will go through the roof but we just need to continue what we have been doing over the last six months."
Dalglish, typically, played down his own role and heaped praise instead on coach Steve Clarke, who also signed a three-year contract on Thursday having arrived at Anfield soon after ‘King Kenny’s’ return.
"We are delighted it has gone as well as it has done. Steve is as important as I am to the club — we came in as a partnership and he has made a great contribution," said Dalglish.
"For it to go so well has really been enjoyable for us.
"The place is much more stable now than it was before, the supporters have smiles on their faces and it is up to us to keep them there as long as we can.
"But we are not going to sit here and shout our mouth off about what we are going to do," added Dalglish ahead of a weekend where Manchester United are set to eclipse Liverpool’s record of 18 English titles.
John Henry, whose US-based Fenway Sports Group owns Liverpool, said there was no-one else he wanted for the job after the completion of contract talks with Dalglish.
"Kenny is a legendary Liverpool figure, both as a supremely gifted footballer and successful manager," Henry said in a statement.
"It was obvious to us very early on that the atmosphere surrounding the club had been transformed by his presence.
"No-one else could have produced such a response. Therefore, I’m delighted we have agreed to a new contract. We didn’t need nor want to look elsewhere for the right man to manage the team."