Dalglish: I'll take one for team
Kenny Dalglish is happy to take a few blows on behalf of his Liverpool players as he is certain they are on course to become a force once more.
The Reds have endured intense criticism over the past few weeks for their dire Premier League form despite the fact they won the first silverware of the season by lifting the Carling Cup against Cardiff.
Last week's abrupt departure of director of football Damien Comolli was a clear indication owner John Henry has not been too impressed with the return on his vast investment.
And there have been plenty on the outside of the Anfield outfit who wonder if Dalglish will be next on the hit-list should performances not improve.
Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final success was evidently a further step in the right direction, and the fact £35million man Andy Carroll scored the winner has provided an added sense of security.
However, Dalglish is aware that unless league results start on an upward curve, there will be more moans.
But if it means protecting his players, the Scot is happy to take the stick.
"You don't like it and you don't agree with it but you just have to get on with it," said Dalglish of the criticism.
"But if it is me that is getting dog's abuse it takes the pressure off the players.
"My skin is a bit thicker than some of theirs.
"It is important for everyone to go through some bad bits to realise how good the good bits are.
"I have been there before. I will be there again at some stage. I have never said we were the finished article and I won't say that now.
"But we will use every bit of knowledge that we have and every bit of commitment to try to get the football club moving in the right direction."
It might be annoying to his critics in the media that Dalglish is not prepared to heap praise on any individual - Carroll the obvious example - at the expense of the collective.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson has never worried about circling the wagons when necessary and Dalglish clearly shares the same view of how to battle through bad times.
And, it would be hard for anyone to write this season off as a failure if Liverpool lift the FA Cup for the first time since 2006 when they appear at Wembley on May 5.
From there, Dalglish can plot a more concerted advance on the top reaches of the Premier League, the aim clearly to end that 22-year wait for a 19th league title.
"Getting to the Carling Cup and winning it gave the whole club a lift," said Dalglish.
"Then getting past Stoke in the last round of the FA Cup gave everyone another Wembley trip to look forward to.
"It gives the whole place a lift. Everybody who works or supports the club can enjoy it.
"Everyone is in it together. There are no scapegoats for anything that goes wrong, only a vision of how we are going to go forward."
And to reach the destination it requires nerve to know the path being taken is the right one, even though it may not appear so at the time.
"We need to be confident enough in our own beliefs and the people who support us have to be strong in their knowledge that what we are doing is correct," he said.
"This football club is a fantastic example to anybody else that wants to run a football club. When there is a wee bit of mud flying about we come together.
"That is the football club I used to know and that is the football club we are getting back to."