Belfast Telegraph

Dalglish regrets handling of Suarez saga

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has admitted he should have handled the Luis Suarez racism row in a better way.

The Uruguay international was banned for eight matches after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in a match at Anfield in October. Between the offence being committed and the ban being imposed, Dalglish staunchly defended the striker as the whole club took a hugely defensive stance.

However, Dalglish has now recognised that the case could - and should - have been dealt with differently, and told ESPN prior to the FA Cup semi-final win over Everton: "It would be done completely differently if it ever happened again - and I hope it never does. I wouldn't say publicly what I would do differently but I know what I would do differently. I would address that."

"If I have done something wrong I am not shy in saying I have done something wrong.

"If I can do something better I will try and do it better. Everybody can look at themselves, whether they are good, bad or indifferent and say, 'I could do things much better'. That is what I will try to do. I would certainly hope not to do things any worse."

Dalglish and Suarez both eventually made public apologies as a result of their behaviour in the match at Manchester United in February. It was Suarez's first away match following the end of his suspension and despite suggesting he would shake Evra's hand prior to kick-off he did not.

Dalglish then conducted a tetchy post-match television interview which appeared to inflame the situation further and ultimately, following intervention from the club's American owners Fenway Sports Group, led to him and the player saying sorry for their actions.

During Suarez's suspension the team had a run of indifferent results, losing 3-1 at struggling Bolton, and a record of only three league wins to date in 2012 has ended their hopes of Champions League qualification.

"You will never know how much the situation affected us," added Dalglish. "We will never know whether we would have won the games with Luis in or without him. But it happened. We had to deal with it and we did deal with it.

"We have to brush ourselves down, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get on with it. I think Luis is doing that now. Everybody at the football club is doing it - and they have done it. We just have to get on with our life and make sure we learn our lessons from the past."


From Belfast Telegraph