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The Anfield great believes that the Scot deserves time to turn things around Anfield and has blamed a misfiring strikeforce for the Reds' current run of poor form

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has described the Reds' upcoming clash with Aston Villa as a "must-win" for under-fire manager Kenny Dalglish.

Although the Merseyside outfit lifted the League Cup in February and have qualified for the FA cup semi-finals, a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle on Sunday marked their sixth reverse in seven league games.

And five-time league championship winner Lawrenson believes that, although the Scottish manager is not yet in jeopardy, Saturday's game at Anfield is crucial.

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"I think one or two people are [mentioning him being sacked], because as a manager in the Premier League it's a crisis if you lose a couple of games," he told BBC Radio 5 Live

"They have Villa at home at the weekend and I hate saying it's a must-win, but it is. We live in an instant media world, but I think the Liverpool owners are in it for the end game.

"I think he [Dalglish] will be fine, but at any level, you have to win games. I really don't believe he will be sacked."

Lawrenson also suggested that the club’s progress is being hindered by the difficulty of competing financially with their rivals, due to a relatively small stadium.

"Until they get into the [top four] they can't attract Champions League players, but how do they get there? Pay stupid money?"
"Another problem at Liverpool is the stadium. It's really difficult to know where they're going to go,” he added.

"Until they get into the Champions League places they can't attract Champions League players, but how do they get there? Pay stupid money?

"They're trying to play catch-up with other clubs. Anfield is full at 40,000 every week, but other clubs, Arsenal get 60,000, Manchester United 75,000, and then you have Manchester City and Chelsea."

The failure of the club's misfiring attack to convert chances has attracted attention over the course of the season, and Lawrenson opined: "I think people know what Kenny is trying to do.

"The biggest problem is, [Charlie] Adam, [Stewart] Downing, [Andy] Carroll and [Jordan] Henderson between them have contributed six league goals. You should be looking at 25-30 goals between them.

"Andy Carroll hasn't been the same player. He's not been the same. I think when he took his shirt off [after being substituted against Newcastle] it was out of frustration."

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