Kenny Dalglish may have conquered Europe as a Liverpool player, but admits he is honoured he now has the chance to lead them in continental competition as manager when the Reds take on Sparta Prague.

The 59-year-old won the European Cup three times in seven years in an era when the Reds dominated both at home and abroad. However, the ban imposed on English clubs after the Heysel Stadium disaster robbed him of the chance to extend that tally as a manager.

Dalglish said: "The reason why I never managed [Liverpool in Europe] before was because the government, through FIFA, decided to ban us. We could have been up there challenging but we could only do what we were allowed to do and play in the competitions we were allowed to."

He added: "We had some fantastic success and it was great credit to everyone involved then. Europe wasn't to be.

"Whether we'd have done well in Europe is hypothetical. People would discuss it but it was irrelevant.

"We just got on with it and in a way it helped us. Maybe if we'd have been involved in Europe we'd have tripped up in a few more games. That could have jeopardised our success.

"It is a great honour for me to be involved with Liverpool, irrespective of the competition, but to be involved in Europe gives that extra little plus."

"It is now up to us to carry on the good work which was done by Roy [Hodgson] and the players to get us this far," he said.

"The competition we are involved in only seems to be unimportant to people who are not involved in it.

"How do you define important? It is important because it is the next game. We will be doing our best to get the results everyone wants."

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