KENNY DALGLISH believes Liverpool’s madcap victory over Blackburn Rovers will provide the perfect tonic for his side as they prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup showdown with Everton at Wembley.
On a barmy night at Ewood Park, Andy Carroll’s stoppage-time header gave the 10-man Reds a 3-2 victory over Steve Kean’s strugglers.
But there are fresh headaches for Dalglish ahead of the weekend, with stand-in goalkeeper Alexander Doni’s red card meaning he, like first choice Pepe Reina, will now be forced to serve a suspension.
Brad Jones, who took over in goal and saved a penalty from Yakubu with his first touch, is the only recognised senior goalkeeper available to Dalglish, and had made just three appearances for the club in almost two years.
Dalglish admitted afterwards that he was not sure if he would be able to bring in a keeper on an emergency loan deal, or whether he would be able to recall Peter Gulacsi, the talented young Hungarian shot-stopper, from a loan spell at Championship club Hull City.
The Scot was, however, delighted with his side’s display of character, as they ended their worst run of league form for 59 years in dramatic style.
“I think the victory will do everybody the world of good,” said Dalglish. “We’ve not had the best of results recently, but this will give everybody a lift.
“It’s a little bit more enjoyable when you win a game with ten men, and towards the end of the game as well. It freshens your mind, and everybody at the football club deserves a bit of enjoyment.
“We cannot speak highly enough of the effort and commitment the players showed. With the help of the supporters, they drove forward in the second-half, and I thought we just about deserved to win the game.
“We can be very pleased with the support for the players on the pitch, delighted with the effort of the players, and delighted with the three points.”
He added: “This doesn’t mean to say we have turned any corners, but certainly we’re delighted for the players and we’re delighted with the result and the three points.”
Dalglish paid tribute the match-winner Carroll, who capped an excellent performance by netting his seventh goal of the campaign.
“He worked really hard and got what he deserved tonight,” he said. “He scored a fantastic header and we’re pleased for him.
“I don’t think confidence is a problem with him. It will only give him confidence if he never had any to start with. I think Andy is a very confident boy.”
Dalglish also added that he would have no concerns heading into the weekend’s crunch Wembley clash with Jones – who was making his first Premier League appearance since May 2009, and his first for the club – against an in-form Everton.
“We don’t have a problem going into the semi-final with these players,” he insisted. “None whatsoever.
“And we’ve got Glen (Johnson) and Daniel Agger who have come through the game, and that will have done them the world of good. We just need to assess them, to see whether they will be fit and available to be considered for selection in the squad for Saturday.
“It was a great save for Brad to make his first contribution for the club in the Premier League with. I’m sure he will remember that.
“He maybe had a wee bit of an advantage, because the Yak and him had been at Middlesbrough together. So maybe he had a bit of psychological advantage.”
Dalglish, meanwhile, would not be drawn into offering a critique of referee Anthony Taylor’s performance, insisting he would not comment until he had seen the game’s key incidents.