Dalglish: Reds’ run-in raises welfare issue

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes more attention should be paid to the welfare of players with the end of the season producing a packed fixture schedule.

The Reds have played six matches in 21 days in March and could have another 12 to play over the next seven weeks.

There could be further disruption to their schedule with both themselves and May 6 opponents Chelsea in line to reach the FA Cup final.

Health issues have been thrust into the spotlight by the collapse of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba last weekend, and although the Liverpool manager was not linking the two issues, he believes sometimes players are being asked to do too much in too short a space of time. “It is a difficult job to work out the schedule of matches because there are that many games to be played,” said the Scot. There are cup ties, teams in Europe, Premier League games and one of the most deciding factors is television.

“Television has been fantastic financially for clubs — no one would be in the position they are in without television — but I think the most important consideration should be players and how quickly they can turn themselves round.

“Sometimes it is unfair on them to be expected to turn around as quickly as the fixtures come up. I think someone should be looking at that, whether it is the Premier League or the Football Association or television.’’

Aside from keeping his players fit, with defender Glen Johnson and Craig Bellamy both likely to miss tonight’s match at QPR, Dalglish’s biggest problem has been consistency in the Premier League.

Last week they ended a three-match losing streak with a win in the Merseyside derby, but with 10 games remaining in the league he knows they have to put a good run together to stand a chance of closing the 10-point gap to fourth place.


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