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Wednesday, May 2, 2012
McManaman critical of Reds' rotation

ESPN staff

Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman has accused the current side of letting down the fans after the 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Anfield on Tuesday.

McManaman unimpressed by Dalglish rotation

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The Cottagers traditionally fare poorly on Merseyside, but picked up a first win in the area in 49 attempts thanks to Martin Skrtel's fifth minute own goal.

Kenny Dalglish picked an under-strength side with Saturday's FA Cup final perhaps playing on his mind, but McManaman feels that is no excuse for the sorry display that the fans were forced to witness.

"Why not win tonight and on Saturday? Why do we think we can just forgive tonight and win on Saturday," McManaman said. "It's only rotation if you have the quality.

"But you have to do yourself justice in front of the fans, who pay very good money while the economy [continues to decline]. You have to give them something and they've given them nothing - and that's what disappoints me.

"If you are going to go down, go down with the fans thinking, 'At least they had a go'. But there was none of that. Fulham were deserved winners."

Liverpool's cup final opponents, Chelsea, face Newcastle in a potential Champions League qualification decider on Wednesday - and McManaman believes conditions were set up nicely for the Reds to pick up a confidence-boosting three points ahead of the trip to Wembley.

"I thought they were terrible. I am slightly more critical of Liverpool because of what that club means to me," he said. "I'll apologise if I am a bit more critical of Liverpool but they really did not offer a lot.

"I thought after the victory over Norwich that they would come here and steamroll Fulham, because Fulham are not good away from home. The fact that Liverpool lost to West Brom last time out here, I thought they needed to give the fans something.

"Remember, Chelsea are playing tomorrow - so why haven't Liverpool got a stronger side out to do the business? This is a far easier game than Chelsea's, who play Newcastle."

Watch the final episode of ESPN's Fan Film series as the Chelsea and Liverpool fans get ready for the FA Cup final

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