Entire Liverpool squad deserve praise – not just Suarez, says Dalglish
13:51 GMT, 29 April 2012
Kenny Dalglish has no doubts hat-trick man Luis Suarez is a 'special' player, but feels his whole Liverpool squad deserve credit for the manner in which they warmed up for the FA Cup final with a 3-0 win at Norwich.
The Uruguay forward proved too hot for the Canaries defence to handle yesterday, producing two clinical finishes in the space of four minutes midway through the first half, before netting a superb 82nd-minute third when he chipped the ball over goalkeeper John Ruddy from just inside the Norwich half.
However, yesterday's win – only a second in seven Barclays Premier League games – was, according to Dalglish, down to more than just the efforts of one man.
Team effort: Dalglish has heaped praise on his side after demolition of Norwich
'(Suarez's goals) were all special for us and special for Luis,' Dalglish said.
'His performance epitomises the performance that the rest of the team put in.
'When you consider what they have to look forward to next week, it is even more credible that they put that to the back of their minds and went out there and played.'
But for a brief rally at the start of the second half, Liverpool were rarely stretched at the back.
The five changes, including the recall of captain Steven Gerrard, showed few signs of impacting on the collective work-rate, which this week brought the desired outcome.
Indeed, but for some better finishing – midfielder Jonjo Shelvey heading against the crossbar in the second half – along with fine saves by Ruddy, the Reds could have won by a bigger margin.
'We had the same commitment last week, but never got the result which our performance deserves,' Dalglish said.
Hat-trick hero: Suarez bagged three against the Canaries
'Every single one of the players in our squad could play for us against anybody.
'They are a credit to themselves the way which they went about their work and that was rewarded with a proper result.
'At the back, Pepe (Jose Reina) had one save to make and he did it. Jamie Carragher was fantastic at the back, clearing things up, so there were a lot of great performances.'
Before Wembley date with Champions League finalists Chelsea, the Reds host Fulham.
Dalglish maintains Liverpool will not allow their league form to suffer as they look to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup they won in February.
'Team selection for me is always difficult because you are going to disappoint someone,' he said.
'But we will go into Tuesday wanting to win, what comes after that comes after that – Tuesday is more important to us now.'
Wembley calling: Liverpool head into the FA Cup final on a roll
Norwich's display was tired, the Norfolk club having already done the hard work to all but mathematically secure their place among the elite again next season heading into the final two matches.
Despite suffering three successive defeats for the first time, Canaries boss Paul Lambert maintains he cannot lambast a squad which has performed beyond expectations.
He said: 'It has been a really tough season for us because we are all new to it.
'The tempo of the game is a lot quicker and the calibre of opposition you are against is really high.
'We have had to adapt, and you can see that even the teams at the bottom are very good.'
Norwich could be mathematically secure of another season in the Premier League by the time they head to Arsenal on Saturday should results below them go their favour.
That in itself would be a remarkable achievement for the 42-year-old Scot.
Lambert added: 'Two years ago we were down in League One, and now we have try to compete with the likes of Liverpool.
'But it is great, because it is something you should enjoy and not fear – I would rather go to Arsenal than be playing where I was two years ago.'