/ Soccer

Dalglish: Fernando Torres not important

Updated: Monday, 07 Feb 2011 14:46

Fernando Torres, wearing the blue of Chelsea, shakes hands with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina
Fernando Torres, wearing the blue of Chelsea, shakes hands with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina

Kenny Dalglish kicked off a new era at Liverpool with three points against Fernando Torres' new employers and a defiant reminder that nobody is bigger than the club.

When Chelsea prised away the Reds' star striker in a British record £50million transfer last week it marked the end of one chapter for the Anfield outfit, but a 1-0 victory against Torres and company yesterday ensured the new one got off to a memorable start.

Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez are the men charged with taking Torres' mantle in the long term but neither were on duty yesterday as Raul Meireles struck after 68 minutes to seal the points at Stamford Bridge.

It was a tight match with few clear chances, though the visitors were well organised by Dalglish and good value for their fourth win on the trot.

The result - as well as the Spaniard's underwhelming 65-minute Blues debut - also afford Dalglish a platform to remind people of the old-school virtues he is bringing to the job.

'As this football club has always said, the most important people are the people who are at Liverpool Football Club and that is the way it will always be,' said the Scot.

'The players approached it professionally. I don't think it (Torres' presence) was any incentive.

'The incentive for us was to get three points and we did. Whatever someone else wants to do with their life is up to them.

'I came here to win three points and it would have made no difference if (Chelsea boss) Carlo Ancelotti was playing up front, I'd still want the three points. The personnel of the opposition is not important to me.'

Asked to assess Torres' contribution further, Dalglish offered: 'To be honest, he had one shot on target and Jamie Carragher made one great block tackle on him, but I'm not here to talk about other people's players, I'm here to talk about my own players.'

As for the injured £35million-man Carroll and his would-be partner Suarez, who was an unused substitute, they must first dislodge the impressive Dirk Kuyt in attack.

'We have signed two fantastic players in Suarez and Carroll and we're looking forward to seeing them - if they can get in the team that is,' added Dalglish.

'With the way we played today that won't be easy.'

The result thrust Liverpool back in to the top six and reignited their bid for the Champions League berth that looked lost at Christmas.

That recent upsurge in fortunes has done Dalglish's chances of turning his short-term job into a more permanent one but he was quick to play down such talk.

'I'm only doing what I said I would come in and do, which is help,' he said.

'I'll never stand in the way of progress at this football club. I have never had a conversation with the owners beyond the conversation I had when I came in.

'That's where we stand at the moment and until there is more to discuss, that is where we are.'