FOR one who comes across in such a dreary manner in front of a camera, Kenny Dalglish has remarkable inspirational powers when it comes to a dressing room.
Liverpool were a rudderless ship for the first half of this campaign with Sunderland a far better bet for the top six.
But five wins in nine Premier League outings under Dalglish have transformed their fortunes and anything less than victory for Sunderland on Sunday will leave the Black Cats struggling to make up the ground.
Scratch beneath the surface though and Liverpool still have a soft underbelly.
Convincing victories over Manchester United and Chelsea have somewhat masked the bleaker moments of Dalglish’s second coming – the defeats at Blackpool and West Ham, a draw at home to Wigan and a desperate Europa League exit last night.
Liverpool still boast the worst away record of any team in the top half of the table, managing a mere 11 points from 14 games.
Admittedly, last month’s win at Stamford Bridge suggested matters were improving, although the motivation of getting the better of Fernando Torres played a significant factor in Liverpool’s success in West London.
To read the rest of Chris Young’s verdict please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.