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Dalglish says Liverpool 100% united behind Suarez

Kenny Dalglish insists his Liverpool squad are 100 per cent behind troubled forward Luis Suarez

AFP, Thursday 22 Dec 2011
Kenny Dalglish

The Uruguay international was unable to inspire his side to victory at the end of a turbulent 24 hours, as Charlie Adam missed a penalty to see the Merseyside club remain sixth in the table after being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Premier League strugglers Wigan.

But the South American was left in no doubt that his manager and team-mates stand squarely with him in the wake of his unprecedented eight-game ban and £40,000 fine, after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield in October.

Dalglish and his Liverpool players wore t-shirts emblazoned with Suarez's number seven in the pre-match warm up in a show of support for Suarez, who will appeal against the controversial penalty imposed by the Football Association.

"We stand right beside him, we always have done, and we always will do," Dalglish insisted after seeing his side remain in sixth place in the table going into Christmas.

"I think that was reflected in the reception he got from the fans and the support the players showed towards him as well."

The Liverpool manager has been unhappy with how much of the Suarez affair has been reported, and he added: "It helps when you write the truth. So if you write the truth, it might be helpful."

Having had his own difficulties adapting to the unique culture of the English game, Wigan's Spanish manager Roberto Martinez admitted he had a certain amount of sympathy with the situation Suarez finds himself in, reflecting that the actions to have landed the Liverpool forward in such hot water could have been 'lost in translation'.

"It's difficult for me to comment on that particular incident, but in general, coming to the British game is a culture shock. Believe me it's not about right and wrong, it's about understanding the culture," Martinez said.

"Sometimes you're seen to be doing something strong and you don't realise it because of your culture and your background in your country. It's the same as with the British going abroad and perhaps upsetting people.

"The problem is where you draw the line.

"We're playing in England with English rules and you need to understand that, but you need to understand different cultures bring with them a degree of misunderstanding, and it's important to see if it's an honest mistake.

"We had an incident where one of our defenders spat at another player and in this country it's as bad to do that as swearing at someone. He understands now that's wrong here, and you need to learn. It's important to accept the punishment, pay the penalty and learn.

"Everyone else should understand if it's not malicious, it's just a lack of culture understanding but obviously I don't know about that (Suarez) incident because I wasn't there. But I can tell you of many examples of things being offensive to me when I first arrived in this country, but they were okay here so I can understand the situation."

Wigan earned a point which still failed to lift them out of the bottom three as Adam's second-half spot kick was brilliantly saved by man of the match Ali Al Habsi, the fourth penalty Liverpool have failed to convert this season.

Suarez won the award when his overhead kick was handled by defender Gary Caldwell, and Dalglish added: "You're not cheering when you miss a penalty. That's four we've missed but we must be doing something right if we keep getting into the box.

"We'll continue to try to get into the box as often as we can. It was the difference between one point and three points, but there's nobody ever missed a penalty on purpose as far as I'm concerned.

"Overall, we were happy with the performance and it's a hard-fought draw. We played our best football in the first 20 minutes when the pitch wasn't too bad. The longer the game went on, the more difficult it was for us to play the way we wanted to play."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online sports on Twitter: @AO Sports)

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