Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish hails resurgent Reds
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said he was proud of his players as their superb finish to the season continued with a crushing 5-2 win over Fulham.
Dalglish has transformed Liverpool's campaign, taking them from mid-table in January to the brink of qualifying for the Europa League.
"It's been unbelievable. Nobody would ever have anticipated the run the boys have been on since January," he said.
"Even if we don't get fifth place, they've been absolutely fantastic."
Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson in January, with Liverpool in disarray and languishing in 12th place in the table.
But under the Scot's guidance, the Reds have taken 33 points - a total only surpassed by Chelsea's 35 - to storm up the table and give themselves the opportunity of making the Europa League.
The five goals against Fulham made it a remarkable 13 in three games for a side finishing the season in some style.
"I think the boys got just reward for some fantastic football and scored five goals," said Dalglish, who is expected to be offered a permanent deal at Anfield in the near future, having originally been appointed only until the end of the season.
"It certainly makes you proud when you see them play like that.
"For us, the position [in the league] hasn't been as important as the response."
The margin of Liverpool's victory was all the more remarkable given that Fulham had won six of their previous seven Premier League games at Craven Cottage.
Dalglish added: "Fulham have got a fantastic record here. They are a really really good side and we were expecting a tough game but we started really well."
Liverpool's resurgence under Dalglish has been all the more remarkable because talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard has been unavailable to him because of injury for large parts of his reign.
England midfielder Gerrard, who was analysing the game for Sky Sports, said he expected Dalglish to be offered the job on a full-time basis imminently.
"I'm sure it's around the corner, I'm sure the owners are ready to put pen to paper," he commented.
Dalglish himself gave little away when pressed on his future at the club where he is already assured of legendary status for his achievements as both a player and a manager.
"When we've got something to tell you, we'll tell you," said the 60-year-old. "Nobody's under any pressure whatsoever."
Gerrard also praised the work of Liverpool's assistant coach Steve Clarke, who he credited with helping the team produce a higher-tempo passing and pressing game.
Dalglish also recognised the impact of the former Chelsea and West Ham coach and played down his own role in the club's recent run.
"It's not a one-man band by any shape or form," he insisted.
"We've done fantastically well since January and it's great credit to the players, Steve Clarke, Sammy [Lee] and the backroom staff."
Liverpool's new dawn has been helped by the excellent form of Argentine forward Maxi Rodriguez, who scored his second hat-trick in three games in the win at Fulham.
Rodriguez has now scored seven in three matches after spending several weeks out of favour.
"He's a really intelligent footballer, he knows where to go and when to go," said Dalglish.
"Everything's happening for him at the moment - he deserves the accolades.
"A lot of balls have been falling to him in the box - but you've got to be there to put them away and he has been.
"He had a few games off and has come back really strong. I'm delighted for him and everybody."
Another player to catch the eye at Craven Cottage was Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who has been in dazzling form since joining from Ajax for £22.8m in January.
"He was running as hard at the end as he was at the very beginning and he caused them all sorts of problems," added Dalglish.
"I don't think in our wildest dreams he could've settled in as quickly as he has done and taken to English football the way that he has done.
"He's graced the pitch every time he's played on it."
Fulham manager Mark Hughes was disappointed to see his team's recent good run brought to an end in such an emphatic manner.
"We didn't really see that performance coming," he told BBC Sport. "We were looking forward to this game and we thought we could ask questions of a very good Liverpool side.
"But we were right on the back foot from the first 30 seconds and then it was just a calamity of errors from that point onwards."