JUST 23 days have passed since the last time Liverpool played Wolverhampton Wanderers but the mood ahead of tomorrow’s showdown at Molineux couldn’t be more different.
When Mick McCarthy’s relegation-threatened side secured a deserved first victory over Liverpool for 27 years just after Christmas Anfield was dogged by anger and frustration.
For many another lifeless display on the back of a league defeat at Newcastle and a dismal goalless draw with Utrecht was too much to take.
It was the night when for the first time The Kop chanted Roy Hodgson’s name but only to advance his claims to be the next England manager.
Chants for ‘Dalglish’ followed as supporters made a very public statement about the action they wanted to see the club’s owners take.
Hodgson may have limped on for another 10 days but it was that defeat which convinced John Henry and Tom Werner that action had to be taken.
The fans finally got their man with players and supporters alike uniting behind Kenny Dalglish as he looks to turn a dismal season around.
After back to back defeats to Manchester United and Blackpool, last weekend’s performance in the 2-2 draw against Everton suggested that the Scotsman’s efforts on the training ground are beginning to pay dividends.
There was a spirit about Liverpool which has been sadly lacking on too many occasions this season.
Defensive frailties may have cost them victory but Dalglish has been impressed with the way the players have responded to his ideas ahead of tomorrow’s trip to the Black Country.
“I’m delighted with the effort that they have put into training and the matches,” he said.
“I haven’t been disappointed in any way, shape or form. We’ve been delighted with the response in what they have been asked to do and the response to myself, Stevie (Clarke) and Sammy (Lee). From day one to yesterday there’s been the same attitude from all of the players.
“On Wednesday we let Joe Cole and Danny Wilson have 45 minutes for the reserves so we could get them on a pitch to see what they could do. Both of their attitudes, as well as Dani Pacheco who was involved in Sunday’s squad, have been superb.
“Sometimes when you get so called first-team players in the reserves you wonder if they could have done a little bit better but the three lads I’ve mentioned did well.”
There were signs last weekend of Liverpool returning to the pass and move style of football they were famous for during Dalglish’s first stint as Anfield manager. The Kop legend believes the upturn in performance was also assisted by the backing his side received from the supporters.
“In the first half the players played really well and the first 10 minutes of the second half was the only time we weren’t in control of the game,” he said. “It’s up to us – we’ve got the ability. The performance will have given them great satisfaction, the result not so much. We keep trying to build up the belief in the players without making them complacent.