Lee hits back at Ferguson remarks

20 April 2009 05:57
Liverpool assistant boss Sammy Lee has defended Reds manager Rafael Benitez over claims he showed contempt to Blackburn counterpart Sam Allardyce. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made the accusation over a gesture Benitez made when the Reds went 2-0 up in a recent win over Blackburn. "Certainly, any gestures that are made pitchside are to our players, not to anyone else," said Lee. "One thing I'll say is that Rafa is certainly not arrogant, no way." Allardyce also criticised Benitez for what he and Ferguson perceived as a dismissive and "undermining" reaction from the Spaniard following Liverpool's second goal in the 4-0 victory over relegation-threatened Rovers. "I'm surprised he [Allardyce] didn't mention anything to me when we were sat having a drink after the game," added Lee, who spent a spell as assistant to Allardyce at Bolton. "No one mentioned anything, and I'm sure if anyone felt strongly about it they would have. But we'll move on." Allardyce was unhappy with Benitez's reaction to Liverpool taking a two-goal leadThe remarks come as the war of words between Benitez and Ferguson continues to rage on as their teams challenge for the Premier League title. Liverpool are one point behind Manchester United, who have a game in hand on their Anfield rivals. "It's not for us to talk about other football clubs," said Lee. "We very rarely do. We try to concentrate on what's going on here and let the game take its course." Meanwhile, Lee has welcomed the prospect of former Reds player and manager Kenny Dalglish returning to the club. The Reds have yet to comment but there are reports Dalglish, who made 515 appearances and scored 172 goals for the club, could join the youth set-up. "If there's a future involvement it can only be good for the club," said Lee, a former team-mate of Dalglish. "He has great knowledge and can only be a good addition to an already very good staff. Everyone would welcome it." Dalglish joined Liverpool from Celtic in August 1977 and is widely regarded as the club's greatest ever player. He scored the winning goal in the 1978 European Cup final against Bruges, the first of three times he won the trophy with Liverpool, and also won eight League titles and two FA Cups with them. Fantastic move in my opinion. Rafa has always respected the traditions of Liverpool FC and has even embraced them occasionally. Following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 he became player-manager, and in his first season in charge Liverpool won the Double, with Dalglish himself scoring the goal that clinched the league title. He left Liverpool in 1991 and went on to have spells managing at Blackburn - where he became only the third manager in English football history to win the league title with two clubs - and Newcastle, and assisting John Barnes at Celtic. Dalglish has not worked in football for eight years, but Lee said he had remained close to goings-on at Anfield. "For me he has never really been away," he said. "He is hanging around everywhere, he's always watching games and is terrific to have around. The impact would be very positive. He is a terrific character."

Source: BBC_Sport