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Kenny Dalglish: Safe-standing is worth considering – but above all, Hillsborough families must be allowed their say

Safe standing at Celtic Park (SNS)
Safe standing at Celtic Park (SNS)

SOME Liverpool supporters from the Spirit of Shankly group visited Celtic Park last weekend for the game against Ross County.

The reason for their journey was to look at the rail seating – better known as the safe-standing area – that was installed in the stadium just under two years ago.

Many Liverpool supporters have discussed this topic, including families of the Hillsborough victims and others who survived that horrible day, a day which will be 29 years ago next Sunday.

I’m not certain how many supporters want it introduced and, indeed, where such a standing area would go inside Anfield.

But, for obvious reasons, there needs to be a detailed discussion with all concerned, as this is a very sensitive subject.

I’m sure Liverpool Football Club will be led on this by the Hillsborough families. And rightly so.

That’s the way it’s been since 1989, and should continue to be so in the future.

The families have behaved with such dignity over the past 29 years, despite the tragic circumstances.

So the humane side of all of this is much more important than the practical part.

Whatever happens, the Liverpool fans are – and always will be – very, very special.

They were again in midweek when we defeated Manchester City in the Champions League first-leg clash.

You know when they built the new stand (The Kenny Dalglish Stand) last year, one or two people suggested it might take a wee bit away from the atmosphere.

Well, I’ll tell you what, going by the other night it has only enhanced the noise and passion.

The atmosphere inside Anfield on Wednesday night was electric. The fans created a special feeling when Liverpool walked out of the tunnel, and the players fed off of that to respond magnificently from the first whistle.

The one negative happened off the park, namely the incident with the Liverpool supporters and the Manchester City team bus when it arrived at the ground.

I can’t condone that behaviour in any way. It was out of order.

But we can’t take away from the Liverpool performance on the night. The players were on fire and they attacked very well and deserved to win.

They were also excellent when not in possession, and the tactical approach from Jurgen Klopp meant that they pressed high up the pitch and shut off space and supply to the City danger men.

Overall, City were devoid of ideas and that was down to the way Liverpool played.

They may have considered themselves to be a wee bit unfortunate when they had a goal disallowed, but overall I think the City fans would have been disappointed in their team.

To win 3-0 was fantastic for the Liverpool support, and it was just another one for the memory bank of great European nights under the floodlights at Anfield.

I’ve been very lucky to have witnessed some crackers over the years. The European victories against Chelsea and the comeback against Borussia Dortmund will never leave me.

Naturally, people ask was Wednesday the best out of the lot?

Well, in my opinion, the most recent one is the best – but many would disagree with that view.

Really, though, how do you decide on the best one? It’s a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact.

What isn’t up for debate is that Liverpool are very much in the driving seat going into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

Sure, there is some serious graft still to be done by Jurgen Klopp’s side, and there will need to be professionalism and organisation. That will be the case.

There would be no point in ruining all of the hard work and excellence from the other night to throw it away at their place.

That’s not going to happen. To recover a three-goal deficit is a huge ask for Pep Guardiola and his players.

As good as they’ve been in this campaign, and as many top-drawer players they have to choose from, I have Liverpool down as heavy favourites to progress to the semi-final.

I’m sure most people would agree with that.

I’m also sure that people from both clubs would share my disappointment and disbelief over the scheduling of the league games this weekend.

For Liverpool and Manchester City to be involved in derby matches just three days before the return leg in the Champions League is far from ideal.

Surely, the EPL can show more belief in the English clubs, and give them every chance to go far in the Champions League.

So, if the computer throws up some fixtures that raise the eyebrow and whet the appetite, then throw it back at the computer if it clashes with the business end of the Champions League.

I’m sure the computer would be able to produce other scheduling.

We don’t want to see the league game being diluted if the managers in question give priority to Champions League games.

What we all want is to see British clubs thriving in Europe.

A wee bit of help and understanding from our own every now and again wouldn’t go amiss.