Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has urged the club’s supporters to keep their nerve as they plot a path back towards England’s elite.
The Reds are in line for a trophy double this term after booking an FA Cup final appearance at Wembley on May 5 with a 2-1 win over Everton at Wembley on Saturday.
Yet even that would not be enough to satisfy some critics, who point to Liverpool’s eighth-placed position in the Premier League as evidence that a £100m-plus outlay on the likes of Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson has not been particularly successful.
However, Dalglish is convinced his team are heading in the right direction, and wants the fans to keep the faith.
“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.”
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.
The fact £35mn man Andy Carroll scored the winner on Saturday 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.