Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina wants Kenny Dalglish to stay on as manager beyond the end of the season.
Dalglish has turned the Merseyside club’s season around since he returned to Anfield three months, with only league leaders Manchester United collecting more points in that time.
Reina, an ever-present in the league this season, believes Dalglish, whose current deal at Anfield runs only until the season’s end, should be handed the reins on a permanent basis.
“We all want him to stay,” Reina told the Liverpool Echo.
“If he stays here on a long-term basis, I would be very happy. Like the rest of the lads.”
“We have improved since Kenny became manager. We have beaten all of the big teams. But it is important as players to repeat that in every game.”
“We need to be consistent; with the aggression and commitment, everything.”
“We cannot just perform against the top sides because a season is 10 months long. If we get the balance right, we’ll be a lot, lot closer to where we want to be.”
“We started this season, and the last one, not the best. Next time, we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Reina has been impressed by the manner in which Dalglish has transformed a squad that had appeared to have lost its way under previous manager Roy Hodgson, and has likened the 60-year-old’s impact to that made by Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.
“Guardiola is a bit younger than him, of course,” he said.
“But they have very similar backgrounds – they are both icons as players and great managers as well.”
“It is important that Kenny knows the club. He is a legend in Liverpool and I mean a legend because sometimes that word is used too much for other people.”
“Kenny knows exactly what people think, and what the supporters want to see.”
“Because he was a great player himself, he understands the point of view of a player, and that means he knows how to set standards and what is acceptable to us. He makes everything much easier for us.”
Reina’s future at Anfield has been shrouded in doubt in recent months but the 28-year-old says he is focusing only on Liverpool, and on improving his own personal form.
“I know I could play a lot better,” said Reina.
“Throughout the whole year my levels must improve.”
“Nobody is the perfect player, you are always learning. I have played 450 games, which is a lot for someone of my age.”
“I am happy, but I would like to play another 450 at the highest level.”
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