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Dalglish still targeting top-four finish for Liverpool

Kenny Dalglish still believes that Liverpool can achieve a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Reds have seen themselves fall 12 points adrift of fourth spot and have nine games remaining to make a late charge on Champions League spots.

While their goal is mathematically difficult to achieve, the 61-year-old insisted that his side haven’t yet given up, telling Sky Sports News: " If fourth place was gone we wouldn't be here. You're assuming that it's gone, but we aren't.

"We will try to get as much as we possibly can from every game that we are in. If we have to play the kids, then we will play the kids, it's not a problem."

Dalglish also spoke of the importance of maintaining the progress of Liverpool’s youngsters but is pleased with their current development.

"We have to maintain their progress and for some of the younger boys in our squad - [Jon] Flanagan, [Jack] Robinson, [Jonjo] Shelvey - if we were in a better position with injuries they could have gone out on loan playing somewhere," he added.

"But, at the same time, if they are going to play, they have to educate themselves for this football club not another one."

Great importance has been placed on youth and home-grown talent since Dalglish returned to Anfield and the Kop legend believes that the club must be careful in handling their young stars.

"There comes a time when you have to take the nappies off them and see if they have got it," the manager stated.

"If we have to do that we will do it but at all times the most important thing for us is to maintain the thought that we are protecting them for our and their benefit.

"People can shout and bawl about young kids doing well and of course they are doing well.

"But they have done well because they have come here and been looked after in the management and guidance they have had.

"Just trust us to guide them through if they are going to get to the next step and if they are good enough to get there."

The Reds face Wigan on Saturday as they continue to search for a way back into the Premier League's top four.