KENNY DALGLISH has rubbished suggestions that Liverpool’s players will have to contend with greater pressure when the new season kicks off in August.
The Reds boss oversaw a dramatic transformation in the club’s fortunes after taking over from Roy Hodgson in January.
Having only picked up 25 points from 20 games, Liverpool claimed 33 points from their remaining 18 matches under Dalglish to climb from 12th in the league to sixth.
After their ruthless 5-2 demolition of his Fulham side at Craven Cottage earlier this month, Danny Murphy said the Reds were benefiting from playing with a freedom that will be absent next term.
The former Anfield midfielder said: “They have been playing under very little pressure. They haven’t needed to go out and win games, and everything they get is a bonus.
“It will be a different ask for those players to play under pressure every week if they are near the top.”
However, Dalglish insists the demands on his players next season will be no different to what they had to deal with in the second half of this campaign.
He said: “When you are playing for Liverpool the pressure is always on and Danny should know that – he played here long enough didn’t he?
“I just know that we played fantastic that night against Fulham and so does he.
“There’s always somebody that asks a question.
“But if you take any pride in your work, you are under pressure in any walk of life.
“You worry about their ability to play first, and I’m sure the players can handle anything else that comes with it.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Phil Neal has praised Dalglish for the impact he has made following his return to the Anfield hot-seat.
The former Reds full-back has been delighted by the way the Scot has given chances to youngsters like Academy graduates John Flanagan and Jack Robinson.
“Kenny had worked at the Academy and knew the players,” Neal said.
“Well done to him for instilling the confidence required for them to make the jump to the first team.
“It’s a pleasure to sit and watch from the stands again, and to give these young kids faith and hope that in the future they will get a go if they are good enough is brilliant for me.”
Neal, who made 650 appearances for Liverpool between 1974 and 1985, added: “Kenny has certainly turned the team and the fans around magnificently. I think it was what was needed at the club.
“We’re looking forward to a new season and new challenges with renewed optimism.”