Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has credited the club’s strong finish to the season to the enthusiasm of Luis Suarez.Liverpool dipped into the bottom three during Roy Hodgson’s doomed reign in charge which ended in January but Dalglish and 22.5-million-pound man Suarez arrived shortly afterwards and the club has climbed to fifth place.
Dalglish’s men occupy a Europa League qualification spot ahead of Monday’s visit to Fulham.
“For us, Suarez has been fantastically enthusiastic – he walks about with a smile on his face in training and is very good in the dressing room,” Dalglish said on Friday.
“Luis and his family have settled in England very quickly and we have got our reward in an exciting player who has made a great contribution to the run we are on.”
“He has settled in very quickly and become a part of this football club. Luis enjoys playing football and enjoys playing here.”
Academy graduate Jay Spearing has been rewarded for a terrific season with an extended contract. The 22-year-old midfielder has forced his way into the starting 11 this season and has started the club’s last six games.
“He is a perfect example of a local boy coming good. It is great for the club and great for Jay,” Dalglish said.
“It is a just reward for the performances he has put in this season. He thoroughly deserves it.”
“Jay has started the last few games for us which is real progress for him to make. Before he was not in the starting XI unless somebody was injured but now he is in there on merit.”
“He plays to a higher level than he did before and he knows what is expected of him. We are delighted with what he has done and he is a great asset for us to have.”
“Jay and the rest of the players have been really enthusiastic in training. We have been rewarded on the pitch for the way they have worked.”
“I saw the lads playing for the reserves on Thursday night and they were fully committed and playing with great attitudes. Playing like that will do them no harm whatsoever.”
Liverpool will be without defenders Martin Kelly (hamstring) and Daniel Agger (knee) for the Fulham clash, while midfielder Steven Gerrard (groin) is out for the season.
Fabio Aurelio (thigh) will face a late fitness test.