STEVE CLARKE admits he’s relishing working at Anfield alongside manager Kenny Dalglish as he closes in on a new long term contract.
The Liverpool first team coach has made a big impression since he arrived at the club in January.
It has proved to be a shrewd appointment by Dalglish with the players speaking highly of Clarke’s training methods.
The former Chelsea No 2 is expected to agree a deal to remain with the Reds beyond the end of the season and his appointment is likely to be announced by owners Fenway Sports Group in tandem with the decision to appoint Dalglish as manager on a permanent basis.
Clarke, who has also had spells at Newcastle and West Ham, has spoken of his desire to continue his work with the Reds.
“Every manager I’ve worked with - you pick up good qualities from all of them and so far, in a short space of time, I’ve seen a lot of great qualities from Kenny,” he said.
“I hope to continue the work into the future.”
The 47-year-old believes the secret to Dalglish’s success lies in his communication with players.
Liverpool’s have taken 24 points from the Scot’s 13 league games since he returned to the helm.
Clarke says the manager’s ability to relax his players has played a major role in the club’s renaissance, pointing to the manner in which Dalglish has handled the introduction of teenagers John Flanagan and Jack Robinson to the first-team squad in recent weeks.
“Before Jack went on (against Arsenal) Kenny was making a joke and trying to relax him going on to the pitch,” said Clarke. “Obviously it’s a very nerve-racking moment for a young player and Kenny was trying to take the edge out of the situation. It was the same with John.
“When you’ve got someone as experienced as Kenny who says the right words at the right time, it can only help.”
Clarke also believes Dirk Kuyt’s late leveller at the Emirates on Sunday – scored from the penalty spot in the 12th minute of stoppage time – shows the team spirit and togetherness which has permeated the squad under Dalglish.
“The way our lads responded, they knew they had very little time left but they still wanted to get the equaliser,” he said.
“Anyone watching us play right now can see the spirit is high, the confidence is good and the performances have been decent. Now we need to continue it.
“If you are working well as a group and working well day in, day out in training - you can see they’re taking that onto the pitch right now. If you’ve got that togetherness it goes a long way in any team sport – especially football.”
Meanwhile, Pep Segura says he is staying positive, despite seeing his side denied the chance to win the FA Premier Reserve League title.
The Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in their penultimate league fixture on Monday night handed Blackburn Rovers the Group B title.
But Segura, who took over as team boss from John McMahon in March, believes the key to reserve team football lies in player development rather than silverware.
“I have always said the bigger picture at reserve team level is not about winning titles,” said the Spaniard. “It’s about producing players who will go on to play for the first team.
“What I always look for is the performance of the team and to see each player grow with every game.
“We have one more game left against Manchester United at Anfield and we hope to put on a good performance in front of our supporters. I want us to play with focus, good attitude and give 100% at all times. If we do this then I will be happy.”