Liverpool Club Focus – Dalglish still searching for Carling Cup boost

Winning the Carling Cup was supposed to provide Liverpool with the momentum to buck up their Premier League form and push for a place in the top four; however the taste of success from last month’s Wembley final somehow appears to have had the opposite effect.

The Reds have won just one game in the top-flight since clinching their first trophy in six years, meaning that a Champions League place is likely to be out of bounds for yet another season. And fans may be even more worried that the inconsistent Merseysiders currently sit at the bottom of the form table, having notched up just four points from their last six fixtures.

Many would argue that reaching the FA Cup semi-final is a sign of progress for a club that has failed to make a mark on knockout competitions in recent years prior to this campaign. However, even the most optimistic Liverpool supporter will not be able to deny that letting a two goal lead slip at Loftus Road on Wednesday night was rather alarming.

Liverpool were leading 2-0 with three-quarters of the game gone, thanks to a sensational goal scored by centre-back Sebastian Coates and a close-range effort from Dirk Kuyt. However, shambolic defending cost Kenny Dalglish’s side dearly as Queens Park Rangers stunned the visitors by coming back to win 3-2 and leave Liverpool trailing sixth-place Newcastle by five points with just nine games to go.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website after the game, Dalglish said: “We came in (at half-time) at 0-0, but it could have been three or four easily. We started the second half and got the goal – a great goal for Seb.

Then Dirk touched one in and to be fair you couldn’t even see them (QPR) getting a goal. But maybe the luck they never got at Bolton 10 days ago, they got tonight in the last 20 minutes.

There is not much more we can say. We need to find answers and make sure we’re going to learn from it. For most of the game we were dominant. We were really creative, thoughtful and professional, but they’ve walked away with three points.

Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways when they face another relegation-threatened side this weekend. Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic travel to Anfield on Saturday, knowing that the Reds have struggled at home, winning just five league games on their own turf this term.

The Latics can also take some hope from the fact that they have not been beaten by Liverpool in their previous four meetings. Therefore, this will be yet another tough fixture for the Reds, but one they are likely to need to win if they wish to overtake high-flying Newcastle before the season comes to a close.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Liverpool v Wigan

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