Kenny & Stevie Fantastic Pre-Match Letter

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Kenny & Stevie Fantastic Pre-Match Letter Empty Kenny & Stevie Fantastic Pre-Match Letter

Post by Arquitecto Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:37 am

Good afternoon and welcome back to Anfield for today's FA Cup fourth round tie with Manchester United.

The match brings together the two most successful clubs in the English game who are rightly proud of their traditions and histories.

We have a tremendous respect for Manchester United and what they've achieved as a football club. However, that doesn't mean to say that we're going to be anything other than totally competitive today.

Matches between the two teams are fantastic occasions and I'm sure this will be another. This latest meeting comes in the FA Cup so United will have a few thousand more fans in the stadium and that will generate a fantastic atmosphere. It's important to us that atmosphere isn't tarnished in any way.

Much has been said about our last fixture here but what is done is done and we now have to move on and concentrate on today's game.

Clearly, passions always run high when the clubs play against each other but as far as we are concerned this is a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United and not about any other issue.

Traditionally and historically Liverpool Football Club supporters have been magnificent and I don't see any reason why today will be any different. We enjoyed fantastic support on Wednesday night - and we will need all our fans to concentrate on getting behind the team this afternoon. Our fans are magnificent ambassadors for this club and we don't need any sideshows or distractions. I'm sure our supporters will view this as an opportunity to go out and win an FA Cup tie and progress to the fifth round.

Games against United are never easy and this is the second time in as many seasons we have been paired with them at a relatively early stage of the competition.

Last year's third round tie was, of course, my first match back in charge. I had come straight off a boat to go to the game but we didn't have to wait very long to get a disappointing decision go against us with the second minute penalty kick. Then we had Steven sent off, so it wasn't as if it was a quiet first day back!

The difference this time is that we have home advantage. After all the away draws we have had in the Carling Cup, that is all we could have asked for, although the people making the draw could have been more generous with the team we are playing against!

On Wednesday evening we reached the final of the Carling Cup after producing a terrific performance against another difficult opponent in Manchester City.

Everything that we thought had been lacking at Bolton last weekend was there in abundance, so the lads deserved great credit for their performance and the result.

Almost everyone in the squad has made a contribution at some stage of our run in the Carling Cup and I think that is a great reflection on the players we have at the club.

Reaching a final is great for everyone who has stood by us over the last few years and it is fantastic for the owners.

I've said many times before that if we all stick together we will be a stronger force and this is a huge reward for everybody with an affiliation to Liverpool Football Club.

But we must remember that while we have got to Wembley, that is all we have achieved. We've not been there for a while so it is satisfying to have qualified for a final but that isn't where our ambition stops. We want to continue to do as well as we possibly can between now and the end of the season.

Let's make sure today is remembered for another great football match between two of the most famous names in the game.

Thank you for your continued support. Enjoy the game.

Kenny Dalglish

Wednesday night's draw with Man City was an example of how we should perform every week. Against the team who are top of the league, we played with tempo, attacked well and defended strongly. It was a great collective effort against a very good side. But for Joe Hart making some fine saves we would have scored a few more goals.

Even when we fell behind we displayed lots of character to come back each time and earn the right result. It was the perfect response to the Bolton result. We knew we let ourselves down at the Reebok and the manager was right to say so afterwards.

Now we've got a Wembley final to look forward to at the end of February. Until that comes around though we can't afford to think about it. Before then we've got a lot of important fixtures, starting with today.

Whenever Manchester United come to Anfield it's a game we all relish. Everyone is up for it. Our support is always fantastic and I'm sure that will be the case again today. Passionate backing for us is what our supporters' great reputation is built on. Nothing else is welcome or will be accepted.

Let's make sure today is remembered as a great game of football in one of the world's most famous cup competitions.

Matches between us and United are nearly always close. The game back in October was another example of that. We enjoyed more possession and went ahead. But United are always dangerous, and scored with probably their only real chance of the afternoon. David De Gea made some great saves to keep them in it at the end too.

They went to Arsenal and won last weekend and they also won at City in the last round of the cup. People have written them off a few times this season. You can never do that with any good team and we are expecting nothing less than a very difficult game.

Most fixtures in the FA Cup are tough, no matter what side you face. All you can hope for is a home draw. We've got that.

It's up to us to take advantage of it and ensure we progress to the next round. We'll be giving our all to do so.

Steven Gerrard

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