IT WAS one of the darkest days of Roy Hodgson’s miserable reign.
On a bitterly cold night in late December the manager’s name was finally chanted by the Kop but only to ironically promote him as the next England boss.
Wolves were rock bottom in the Premier League and without an away win for nine months but they walked away from Anfield with maximum points courtesy of Stephen Ward’s goal.
Liverpool were in crisis and in the bottom half of the table. Ten days later Hodgson was on his way and Kenny Dalglish was swiftly restored to the throne he vacated 20 years earlier.
Mick McCarthy’s men return tomorrow and Dalglish is hoping his new look Reds show the visitors just how far they have come.
Wednesday’s impressive 2-1 victory in the Carling Cup at Brighton lifted spirits after back to back defeats at the hands of Stoke and Tottenham.
It was the perfect response to the 4-0 rout they endured at White Hart Lane and Dalglish is keen to ensure momentum is maintained.
“The performance at Brighton was a fantastic reflection of what the club means to the players,” he said. “Their attitude and their commitment to get a result was superb.
“Maybe in the second half we didn’t play as well as in the first half. But it would have been very difficult to match how we played in the first half when some of the passing and movement was superb.
“It’s great for us to have people on board who care and respect themselves but more importantly care about and respect the football club.
“We know the Spurs game wasn’t acceptable. The good thing is the players realise it wasn’t acceptable either. But we never get carried away with the victories we have and we won’t be suicidal over the defeats either.
“If there are problems we need to address we will. We’ll do it properly and professionally. We’ll try to get ourselves back up and running in the league on Saturday.”
Wolves got their season off to a flying start with wins over Blackburn and Fulham but since a draw with Aston Villa they have been beaten at home by both Spurs and QPR.
However, they stopped the rot in midweek by hammering Millwall 5-0 to join the Reds in the last 16 of the Carling Cup.
“They had a great result against Millwall but like us have lost their last two leagues games after a very good start,” Dalglish said.
“Last year they came here, played very well and went away with a 1-0 victory.
“Mick will be encouraged by that and will be looking for more of the same from his players.
“Mick made a few changes against Millwall but I think he’ll go back to his tried and trusted for Saturday. It will be a difficult game for us.”
Dalglish made seven changes for the trip to Brighton and those who came into the side staked a claim for a starting spot against Wolves.
Among them was Craig Bellamy who marked his first start since rejoining the Reds on a free transfer from Manchester City with a man of the match performance at the Amex Stadium.
The fiery Welshman opened the scoring and proved a real menace throughout.
Dalglish believes his display showed just how determined the 32-year-old is to ensure his second spell at Anfield is a success.
“We knew what we were getting when Craig came in,” Dalglish said.
“We’ve explained before what he brings to the football club
“I think having a year out last year where he played (on loan) at Cardiff rather than in the Premier League, I think we’re getting the benefit of that. He’s got a hunger to commit and impress. Craig maybe went away with a bit of unfinished business the last time he left here so he’s got a desire to rewrite that and we will get the benefit of that.
“He will make a contribution to the football club over the length of his contract and hopefully the Brighton night was just the beginning for him.
“He loves playing football and he’s really enthusiastic and determined to do well, and we’ll help him all we can.”
Bellamy struck up an instant rapport with strike partner Luis Suarez and they combined expertly for the Reds’ opening goal. Dalglish wasn’t surprised by the havoc the Reds duo wreaked against the Championship high-flyers.
“That’s why they train together every day to get that kind of understanding,” he added.
“You do it on the training pitch and then transfer it into matches.
“If you get intelligent footballers playing together then you’ve got a good chance of getting a good performance from them.
“Certainly on Wednesday night it was a really good performance in the first half.
“We think we’ve got a stronger squad than we had last year. That was reflected in the level of performance that was turned out at Brighton when we made a few changes. We still had a strong team on the pitch.”
Dalglish will demand more of the same tomorrow to ensure the memory of that dismal night last December is banished.