After another tough week, it had been a good day and Kenny Dalglish stood with his back against a wall and smiled.
For the first time in a quite a while, there was a sense of a siege lifting, a tantalising glimpse of a path to new glories. For months, Dalglish and Liverpool have been surrounded by negativity and condemnation.
A combination of the deeply-misjudged handling of the Luis Suarez affair and a desperately poor run of form in the Premier League had left Dalglish vulnerable.
And after the firing of director of football Damien Comolli last week, many believed if Liverpool lost to Everton, the fate of their manager was sealed, too. But Liverpool did not lose. They went behind in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley but they did not crumble.
They fought back and they found a way to win. It may be too early to talk of turning points but it felt as if some of the old Liverpool spirit was back.
It felt that way to Dalglish, too. He knew it was only a semi-final. He knew it was a far cry from some of the triumphs he enjoyed as a player at the old Wembley.
But as he stood against the wall deep inside the new stadium, he said he had begun to sense the old Liverpool returning. Gone, for a few moments anyway, was the starkly confrontational approach he has adopted to many media interviews in the past few weeks. Instead, Dalglish spoke passionately about the job he was trying to do and the criticism he was happy to take.
“There are no scapegoats for anything that has gone wrong,” he said. “There is only a vision of how we are going to go forward.
“To go forward and be successful, sometimes you need to get battered along the way.
“This football club is a fantastic example to anyone else that wants to have a football club that when there is a wee bit of mud flying about, they close ranks and get together.
“That is the football club I used to know and it’s the football club I am getting back to knowing now.”
In an earlier interview with ESPN, Dalglish had accepted that he might have made mistakes in his handling of the Suarez affair.
He accepted that he had been under pressure but said he was better equipped to deal with it than some of his players.
“You don’t like the suggestion you’re under pressure, but you don’t have to agree with it,” Dalglish said. “And you just need to get on with it.
“If it’s me that’s getting dog’s abuse, good, because it takes the pressure of the players and my skin is a bit thicker than some of theirs. There’s a lot of them here for the first time in their first year.
“It is important for everybody to go through some bad bits to realise how good the good bits are. I’ve been there before and I suppose I will be there again at some stage.”
The issue that was not broached was whether a traditional patrician manager like Dalglish might actually work better without a director of football.
A two-tier system is the model favoured by the club’s American owners but many feel it would be better to give Dalglish sole charge.
Whatever happens, Liverpool now have a goal to sustain them through to the end of the season and more evidence to trust the Scot to rebuild the club he loves so much.
“I have never said at any time that we were the finished article and we won’t say that now,” Dalglish said.
“But every bit of knowledge I have got, every effort I have got, will go towards trying to get the football team moving in the right direction.”