Dalglish hails Rodriguez attitude
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the attitude and performances of midfielder Maxi Rodriguez can be a lesson to everyone.
The Argentinian has scored 11 times in his previous 12 starts but they have been spread over the final six weeks of last season and the first five months of the current campaign.
"He is a real credit to himself and if he was a bit younger we would have someone in our squad who would be top drawer," said Dalglish of Rodriguez.
The former Atletico Madrid player headed the equaliser against Blackburn on Boxing Day and, although he has been in and out of the side, Rodriguez, 31 next week, nearly always delivers when called upon.
With Newcastle in town all the talk has been about whether Andy Carroll will get a second successive start after Luis Suarez received a one-match ban for accepting an improper conduct charge in relation to his offensive gesture to Fulham fans. But Rodriguez is the player who has the right to feel most aggrieved should he be left out.
"Maxi is a very intelligent footballer," said Dalglish. "He knows how to play, he loves to play but he is not going to play in every game and the same goes for Maxi as every other member of the squad.
"We have to manage him the best way we possibly can and when he plays he doesn't give you too many bad performances.
A win against the Magpies would put Liverpool level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea, albeit having played one match more.
At the moment that is all Dalglish is asking for as his side look to regain their Champions League status.
"There could be more than three teams involved [in the battle] for fourth spot but as long as we are involved and give ourselves a chance then we will be happy with that," he added.