Dalglish determined to take Reds to Champions League

Updated: 11 July 2011 15:47 IST

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish on Monday warned that last year's failure to qualify for the Champions League must not be repeated as the Premier League side launched their debut tour of China.

Guangzhou:

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish on Monday warned that last year's failure to qualify for the Champions League must not be repeated as the Premier League side launched their debut tour of China.

Dalglish, who galvanized the Reds' form after taking over in January, said his team are training well ahead of the new campaign and are determined to return to Europe's elite competition after falling short last season.

"We never got there last year but we have to make sure this does not become a habit for the future," he said in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, where Liverpool are set to play a friendly against a local side on Wednesday.

"We have fantastic players, they've trained really well and are sharp and fit."

His side finished sixth in the English top flight last season after a woeful start which left them with relegation concerns.

Wednesday's friendly against Guangdong Sunray Cave, will give Dalglish and his coaching staff a chance to see some of his new recruits, including Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson, in action.

The Reds bought the pair for an estimated combined fee of around 28 million pounds ($44.8 million) to stiffen the spine of the side as they look to mount a serious title challenge.

But the manager said the introduction of the two young central midfielders will not come at the expense of captain and club talisman Steven Gerrard, 31, who has been sidelined since March with injury and did not make the China trip.

"Steven Gerrard has been fantastic. He's just had surgery and is recovering well," Dalglish said.

"He should be fit for the start of the season. By not coming on this tour, he is giving himself the best opportunity to play in the season."

The former Liverpool striker refused to be drawn on other transfer targets, but hinted at more movement in the transfer market, saying "there will be people coming in and people moving out. What will happen will happen."

The Reds' first tour to China aims to tap the nation's massive football market and give the mainland's estimated 60 million Liverpool fans a chance to see their heroes on the pitch.

Hundreds of fans greeted the players at Guangzhou airport on Monday morning and dozens more - many in Liverpool shirts - took pictures as the team arrived at their hotel.

Liverpool will also play a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur on July 16.

Dalglish, one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, had a previous successful spell as manager at Anfield between 1985 and 1991 before taking charge as caretaker in January after Roy Hodgson was sacked.

Topics : Football Liverpool Alex Ferguson Fernando Jose Torres Sanz Steven Gerrard Charlie Adam
Related Articles
Antonio Conte Signs New Two-Year Deal With Chelsea
Antonio Conte Signs New Two-Year Deal With Chelsea
Francesco Totti Confirms Retirement, Accepts Offer As Club Director At Roma
Francesco Totti Confirms Retirement, Accepts Offer As Club Director At Roma
Chelsea Sign 'Outstanding' French Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko
Chelsea Sign 'Outstanding' French Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko
Show Comments
Advertisement