Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists last night’s poor 1-0 defeat to Fulham will have no bearing on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
The Scot had hoped a number of fringe players would stake their claims to be involved at Wembley after making nine changes, leaving out the likes of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy.
But Fulham, who had never won at Anfield in 30 previous attempts, took a fifth-minute lead through Martin Skrtel’s own goal and were barely troubled after that.
“It will not affect Saturday but that doesn’t mean it (the performance) is right and it is not something you want to dismiss easily,” said Dalglish, who was critical of his players’ attitude.
“It is not correct to go about your work in that way.
“But if we had come in and won 4-0 it wouldn’t have made any difference to Saturday.
“There are one or two who did well but apart from that there wasn’t anything for us, myself included.
“A lot of people have to take responsibility for it.
“There were some positives. It was nice to see the big lad (Carroll) back.
“He had a niggle at the weekend but he is fit and back and played 90 minutes so that is good for us.”
Prior to the match Dalglish had challenged his squad to play for cup final places but admitted after the tally of dropped points at home reached an incredible 30 that he may have made a mistake.
“Their attitude was not right and if you get a bad attitude you going to get a bad performance and that is what we got,” he added.
“I am culpable as well as I changed a lot of players to try to give everyone an opportunity to get in the frame for Saturday.
“I suppose by doing that it was a contributory factor to what happened.
“I tried to be fair and give everyone an opportunity – maybe I was wrong.”
The only goal, ironically, was made by two former Liverpool players with John Arne Riise’s cross being deflected on to Skrtel by Alex Kacaniklic, formerly of the youth team.
First-team coach Billy McKinlay, standing in for manager Martin Jol who was absent for the second successive match with a chest infection, was pleased with the way the team reacted to a 4-0 drubbing across Stanley Park at Everton at the weekend.
“We performed poorly on Saturday but we had a massive response,” he said.
“The organisation was better and the players deserve the plaudits.”
The win drew the Cottagers level on points with eighth-placed Liverpool and McKinlay believes they should still be aiming higher.
“It is important that we do what we can do,” he added.
“We’ve had a good season. There are times when we think we could have done better and times when we have got away with a result or two.
“With two games to and six points to play for that the target is to push us as high up the league as possible.”