Dalglish honored by Liverpool return
Updated: 2011-01-10 08:08
Kenny Dalglish (left) takes the place of Roy Hodgson (right) as new Liverpool manager.
LIVERPOOL - Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, the last manager to bring the English league title to Anfield in 1990, admitted on Saturday it was "a great honor" to be back in charge.
Dalglish was named as the man to bring back the glory days to the former European champion after the unhappy six-month reign of Roy Hodgson was brought to an end.
Liverpool's owners New England Sports Ventures (NESV) had suggested after last week's home defeat to Wolves they were looking for alternatives, and Dalglish's first task will be to engineer a win in Sunday's FA Cup third round tie at Manchester United.
"It's a great honor to be asked to come back, it's unfortunate circumstances because a very good man with great dignity and integrity has lost his job," Dalglish told Sky Sports News after cutting short his holiday in Dubai.
Asked how big a task it would be to turn around the season for a Liverpool team struggling at 12th place in the Premier Legaue, the Scot said: "We'll find out, I've only come off the plane, so we'll find out."
Hodgson, 63, who replaced Rafael Benitez last year, oversaw a ninth Premier League defeat on his watch at Blackburn this week.
That left the embattled side just four points above the relegation zone.
Former Fulham boss Hodgson had hoped that a bright performance against United at Old Trafford on Sunday might save his position but NESV decided otherwise.
In a statement on the club's website, principal owner John Henry said: "We are grateful for Roy's efforts over the past six months, but both parties thought it in the best interests of the club that he stand down from his position as team manager.
"We wish him all the best for the future."
Hodgson added: "Being asked to manage Liverpool football club was a great privilege.
"Any manager would be honoured to manage a club with such an incredible history, such embedded tradition and such an amazing set of fans.
"Liverpool is one of the great clubs in world football. I have, however, found the last few months some of the most challenging of my career.
"I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool.
"The club has some great, world-class players, with whom it has been a pleasure to work and I wish the entire squad well for the rest of the season.
"I thank those with whom I have built up a close working relationship at the club for their loyalty and support during very testing times, and finally of course to the Liverpool fans, your passion and dedication to the club will see Liverpool at the top of the game once more."
Dalglish - who had sought the job last summer before Hodgson's appointment - steps in for his second stint in the Anfield hot seat, his first spell between 1985 and 1991 harvested three league titles and two FA Cup titles.
Speaking about the decision to put the Liverpool legend in charge for the rest of the season, Henry added: "We are delighted that Kenny Dalglish has agreed to step in and manage the team for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and for the remainder of the season.
"Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers - three giants. We are extraordinarily fortunate and grateful that he has decided to step in during the middle of this season."
Chairman Tom Werner said: "No one who cares for this great club has been happy with the way this season has unfolded and we have examined options and considered at length what is best for us going forward.
"Kenny will bring considerable experience to the position and provide management and leadership for the rest of the season."
Hodgson becomes the third Premier League manager to be axed this season after Chris Hughton at Newcastle and Sam Allardyce at Blackburn.
A flurry of reports across British newspapers last week said NESV had already decided to replace Hodgson at the end of the season.
But pressure began to reach boiling point on New Year's Day when some 10,000 fans - including around 4,000 season ticket holders - stayed away from the 2-1 win over Bolton at Anfield.
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