FORMER Liverpool boss Roy Evans has called upon the club’s supporters to back manager Kenny Dalglish as he looks to end the Reds’ dismal run of results.
Defeat at Newcastle on Sunday means Liverpool have lost six of their last seven Premier League games, and have taken just eight points from a possible 36 in 2012.
It is the club’s worst league run since 1953/54, when they were relegated from the top flight, but Evans, who managed the club between 1994 and 1998, has urged fans to remain behind Dalglish and his players.
“You have to be positive,” said Evans. “You have to stick together in times like thisfrom the players, to the manager, the backroom staff and the supporters.
“It is always a difficult time when you go through periods like this as a manager. Especially as, being manager of a club like Liverpool, you know what it means to the fans. They are suffering at the moment, and having a hard time of it.
“And they have every right to be critical. That is part of being a fan.
“But at the end of the day, Liverpool still have a chance of winning the FA Cup, to go alongside the Carling Cup.
“The league position is not what anyone at the club wants it to be, make no mistake, but my message to the supporters would be to stick together, and try to stay behind the team for the rest of the season. Because the team, the players, the manager, they need fans’ support at times like this.”
Evans admits he has not been surprised by the recent criticism of Dalglish, but believes patience is key, from the boardroom down.
He said: “Kenny is not stupid, he knows that his team have not performed to their capabilities of late.
“Football is a results business, and if you aren’t getting the results, then criticism will come. Patience is in short supply in the modern game, certainly among supporters and often among club owners too.
“Hopefully, though, the owners will look at the situation sensibly. The teams that get success, in the long term, have continuity. Chopping and changing all the time gets a team nowhere.
“Look at Manchester United. If Alex Ferguson would have left when they had a bit of a rough patch years ago, where would they be now?”
Evans also believes Dalglish will be as eager as anybody to put things right, starting with a Premier League double-header against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers over the Easter weekend.
“Nobody will be hurting more than Kenny,” he said. “I hear people say they don’t listen to the critics, but in this day and age that is almost impossible. The media coverage of football is 24/7 now, there is no escaping it.
“He was the fans’ choice as manager when Roy Hodgson left. I don’t think there was a fan around who didn’t want Kenny in.
“As manager of Liverpool, there are high expectations. You wouldn’t want it any other way, either. You wouldn’t want the players and the manager to be happy with the way things are going.
“The league table doesn’t lie. It is up to the players and the manager to make sure it reads a little better sooner rather than later.”