Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish admits his side have exceeded all his expectations since his appointment in January.Liverpool, who were languishing in 13th when Dalglish took over from the sacked Roy Hodgson, visit Aston Villa on Sunday and could cap a remarkable turnaround by securing fifth place with victory.
And Dalglish has been surprised by the quality of his players, who have won four of their last six games scoring 17 goals in the process.
“A lot of the performances have exceeded what I thought we were capable of,” Dalglish said.
“That’s a great compliment to them, or maybe I’m just thick and didn’t appreciate what we had here.”
“When you’re on the outside you don’t always see the effort and commitment they have but I’ve noticed that since I’ve come in.”
Despite his side’s results in the second half of the season, Dalglish is expecting a busy summer in the transfer market.
“The people we’ll be looking at are of the highest calibre, because the players here have done really well since January,” he said.
“We’ve had a great end to the season. There will be lots of work done in the close season and we’ll take it from there.”
“Although it might affect them, players themselves expect new faces to come in and give the place a lift. It’ll happen and they know it’ll happen.”
“If we get some quality people in to go along with the people already here, that will help everyone. It always helps to freshen up the dressing room.”
“But if we’re bringing anyone in they’ve got to be better than what we’ve got – and that’s going to be a big ask.”
Liverpool could be without midfield duo Raul Meireles (hamstring) and Steven Gerrard (groin) for the trip to Villa Park. Defenders Daniel Agger (knee) and Martin Kelly (hamstring) are also set to miss out.
Meanwhile, defender Glen Johnson will make his 250th club start if he faces Gerard Houllier’s side.