LIVERPOOL manager Kenny Dalglish admitted he felt for the players he had to leave out in yesterday’s final – but was delighted to see one he took a gamble on come away with the man of the match award.
Stewart Downing rewarded his manager’s faith in him with a sterling performance on the wing.
Dalglish said: “The players who didn't start the game could feel a little bit disappointed.
“You feel for anybody who's not involved, but if you're sat on the bench there's always a chance you're going to come on and make a contribution and the three lads we put on, Carra, Dirk and Bellas, all made contributions. That's important.
“I think you'd be spoiled for choice for man of the match but it was great to see Stewart getting a bit of recognition for his performance.
“But the most important thing was that we won the game and that's down to every individual's performance.
“We've had seven players come in this season and for them to walk away with a trophy in their first season means they can be proud of their achievements.
“We're where we are because of the work of everyone, the owners, the players, the supporters, everybody's chipped in.
“The closer we are, the stronger we will be together.
“Today has been a combination of an awful lot of hard work from an awful lot of people.
“Everybody's worked as hard as they could.”