Kenny Dalglish blames Liverpool's failure to qualify for Europa League on poor start to season

Scot also believes final day defeat to Aston Villa was due to fatigue and admits the absence of European football will be an unusual experience for the Merseysiders

Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool was lucky to finish sixth in the Premier League table after its abysmal start to the campaign, but believes the club's failure to qualify for the Europa League will not stop players wanting to play at Anfield.

Aston Villa's 1-0 victory on Sunday helped condemn the Anfield outfit to its first season without European football since the 1999/2000 season. The damage was largely done under previous boss Roy Hodgson after he gained just 25 points in 21 games until Dalglish took over the reins in mid-January.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the Scot bemoaned the poor state of the club when he took over and admitted that a season without European football would take some getting used to.

"It's always nice for everybody to be involved in Europe, isn't it? Whether it is going to be helpful or not to be out of it remains to be seen," Dalglish stated.

"It is a long time since this club wasn't involved in Europe.

"It is new ground for everybody. We just need to get on with it and accept that we aren't.

"We didn't qualify for Europe because we lost the game today it was because we had a bad start to the season.

"If you start as badly as that then you're lucky to be sixth come the end of it."

Liverpool's disappointing season ensured that no Champions League or Europa League football will be on offer to prospective signings this summer. Despite the setback, Dalglish was convinced the club remained a big enough draw and was confident if any player didn't want to come it'd be "their loss not ours."

"There are a lot more players who don't play in the Champions League than do and I think Liverpool football club is a big enough attraction to players," he added.

"If we want to bring someone in, I'm sure the club is a big enough attraction. Any one we do bring in will have to be a lot better than what we have here and that is only the chosen few.

"We'll be select with what we choose to do, and if they don't want to come, it's their loss not ours."

Stewart Downing's 33rd minute goal ensured a promising revival under Dalglish ended with a loss. The 60-year-old blamed tired legs for the result.

"It's disappointing for the players. They've done fantastic to get as far as they have done and it would have been nice to finish on a positive," said the Scot.

"We just ran out of legs a bit and players a wee bit, too. There were players that played who shouldn't have played, as well.

"Jonjo Shelvey shouldn't have played more than 20-25 minutes. His knee will be painful in the morning.

"The most important thing for us is that they did the best they possibly could. Our legs just ran out a wee bit and we came up short."

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