Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish expressed his delight that winger Stewart Downing was able to shrug off booing from Aston Villa supporters to help his side to victory.
The Reds won 2-0 at Villa Park thanks to first-half goals from Martin Skrtel and Craig Bellamy in a game punctuated by jeers toward former Villans man Downing.
“I think it’s sad they’d have been better off giving their support to their own players, because it wasn’t going to upset Stewart," the Scot told reporters. “He was excellent, so obviously it worked.”
As for his side’s comfortable win, Dalglish praised the performance of his players in securing a crucial three points in their chase for Champions League football.
“I think we got most things right," he continued. "We’ve had a shutout, scored two goals, we’ve increased our goal tally, we’ve increased our points tally. And we’ve increased the number of times we’ve hit the woodwork as well.
“I think they were a wee bit fortunate with the first [goal], we got a bit of a break at the corner, it fell for Craig and he just tapped it in. It was a good corner and the header for the second one.
“I think we did have a lot of chances in the game. That’s what we’re there for we’re there to create them and one day we’re going to finish them off. We never did it.
“It never quite seems as comfortable as it is standing on the side-line, but to their credit they didn’t want to lose a goal either. As well as scoring them they don’t like losing them.”
After seeing his side hitting the woodwork twice during the game, and with them having done so 17 times this season, Dalglish went on to offer a solution for the Reds' problem.
“We could solve it – if we just shave a couple of inches off the post we’d be ok!" said Dalglish. “Certainly, Luis’ shot was fantastic, the second one. As we say we’ll keep trying, because the harder you try the luckier you become. So we’ll see what happens. Maybe one day they’ll hit the bar and go in.”
Dalglish also hailed the performance of Craig Bellamy, who scored the opener and assisted the second,
“He’s excellent; he’s been fantastic since he came in," he said. "He’s good in the dressing room, he’s good in the training ground and he’s good on the pitch. He’s no problem what-so-ever for us, he’s been excellent.”
The 60-year-old also had kind words for Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan failed to find apt reward for his performance after striking the frame of the goal twice.
“Well Suarez has been sat in a hotel room for three days and he’s only trained Tuesday, Friday and then he puts in a performance like that. I think it speaks volumes of the man.”