Belfast Telegraph

Dalglish: Comolli exit not a distraction

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is confident the surprise departure of director of football Damien Comolli will not distract his team ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

This season the Reds have attracted their fair share of bad headlines for things happening off the field, and the timing of this latest announcement appeared odd just a couple of days ahead of a Wembley derby.

But Dalglish said: "The preparation for the game will go ahead as planned. We will just concentrate on the game and go ahead with it, that is what we are here for."

He went on: "It is a big game, the semi-final of the cup with probably a bit more added to it because it is a local derby - although it's a bit strange playing a derby at Wembley."

It seems hardly a month can go by without Liverpool creating or being involved in some upheaval. The Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra racism saga rumbled on for three months and, even when the Uruguay international had served his eight-match ban, the row was re-ignited when he refused to shake the Frenchman's hand in the match at Old Trafford.

Since the Carling Cup victory in February, league results have taken a dive and that led to Dalglish coming in for criticism over his public persona, tactics and signings.

But Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has said manager Kenny Dalglish enjoys the "full support" of owners Fenway Sports Group. "We've got great confidence in Kenny," he told

The club's transfer policy was meant to undergo a significant sea-change under the guidance of Comolli, whose appointment in November 2010 as director of football strategy was intended to help ease new American owners FSG into a sport in which they were unfamiliar.

Dalglish added: "I had a fantastic working and personal relationship with Damien and it is disappointing, but I suppose there is not much in football which comes as a surprise. It is sad to see anyone leave the football club and he goes with my best wishes and hopefully it is not long before we meet again."

Comolli, who has also worked for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and was widely credited with playing a part in Tottenham's recent resurgence, said: "I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at Liverpool and am happy to move on from the club and back to France for family reasons."


From Belfast Telegraph