• 'Playing on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday takes its toll'
• Liverpool manager unhappy Luis Suárez goal was disallowed
Kenny Dalglish suggested his team are paying the price for success as Liverpool lost to Wigan at Anfield for the first time in their history, the manager explaining that progress in both domestic cup competitions has caused fatigue among his squad.
Dalglish said that problem was compounded by television schedules stipulating that the Carling Cup winners had had to play three matches in six days, starting with the FA Cup quarter-final victory over Stoke last Sunday and followed by league defeats by Queens Park Rangers and now Wigan.
"We looked a wee bit tired," Dalglish said following the 2-1 loss. "We gave the ball away quite a lot in vital positions and that's not because the players can't play it's because of tiredness. You play on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday and it is going to take its toll. We've not had enough players at our disposal to give them adequate rest. That's the problem put on the club by the television schedule and the fact that we've done well in two cups."
Dalglish also complained that a decisive point in the match was referee Lee Mason's refusal to award Luis Suárez a second goal when the sides were tied at 1-1, the official ruling that the Uruguayan had put the ball into the net with his arm. "There was no rhyme or reason why the second goal should have been chalked off, it wasn't handball," said Dalglish, who thought the ball had come off the striker's shoulder.
"I've seen a quick replay and it was a clear handball," said Roberto Martínez, who praised the referee's performance and, in particular, the way he handled Suárez. "We all know Suárez is an artist at getting free-kicks and good situations for his team but the referee was very strong."
The Wigan manager also praised his own team's character, saying: "I don't think we played as well as we played in the previous five games but I was pleased in the manner we coped after we conceded the goal. From then on the home side often takes control but I'm extremely proud that the players controlled the situation, kept the ball and took the sting out of the game in a mature way before going in front again. Liverpool did not look fluent at all and that's down to the hard work the players put in."