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Kenny feeling the pressure

Ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Everton, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish appears to be going into meltdown. His time as Celtic boss was marked by increasing levels of paranoia directed at officials and the media, and that pattern appears to be repeating itself at Anfield.

Liverpool are suffering their worst run of form since footballers stopped wearing knee-length shorts and smoking at half-time. They have won just once in 9 league games, and previous dreams of a Champions League place now look laughable.

The pressure appears to have told on the manager. He recently suggested that kit contracts were as important as trophies. Now the Scotsman who is never in danger of being mistaken for a ray of sunshine is mumbling darkly about the possibility of a refereeing conspiracy against his team.

"The last 3 games there are blatant decisions that have gone against us that are, frankly, inexcusable, and I'd say unexplainable as well," he said. "I am stating a fact. If they have something like that, a decision that isn't given that is so blatantly wrong – as we have felt in our last 3 games – then surely it is their problem, not mine."

The comments that will alert the FA concerned the integrity of referees. "I know we have integrity, I know we have integrity in bucketloads," he said, conveniently forgetting the club's tawdry reaction to the Luis Suarez affair. "I can't speak for other people and whether they have integrity. A wee bit of respect towards us would help the situation immensely. Otherwise, people might think there is a conspiracy."

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