herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Hodgson hardened and ready to build at Bolton

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has been taken aback by the intense scrutiny of his actions this season.

Hodgson is under pressure after a poor start to the season and has found a lot of his decisions dissected in minute detail by pundits and fans.

Having achieved moderate success at a club with lower expectations in Fulham, Hodgson concedes he had not anticipated the step up in coverage at Anfield.

Hodgson said: "This football club have a lot of players who have played for Liverpool for a long time.

"Every other day they've probably read or heard some nonsense about them and they seem to be a pretty hardened bunch.

"It is an interesting thing for me to get into the type of mindset Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard are so good at.

"It is part and parcel of the business of working for Liverpool Football Club. I am beginning to turn it around myself."

Hodgson's position appeared under threat as defeat to Everton in the Merseyside derby a fortnight ago left the Reds in the Premier League relegation zone.

They remain in the bottom three but last week's performance and victory over Blackburn has eased the pressure.

Coming soon after the takeover by New England Sports Ventures, the mood at the club is starting to lighten and Hodgson wants to maintain an upward curve at Bolton tomorrow.

He said: "Coming into the next quarter of the season, I'm hoping it won't be as traumatic as the first one has been.

"I'm not believing naively we are going to win seven out of nine and fly to the top of the table but I do want us to move from the relegation zone."

Hodgson and NESV have both been forced on the defensive this week to dismiss speculation that some of the club's star players could leave.

Goalkeeper Jose Reina is the latest to be linked with a move away while star striker Fernando Torres' future is a regular subject of conjecture.

"There is no truth in these stories," said Hodgson. "Reina and Torres are excellent trainers and their commitment to the club is as good as ever. There is no question they are anything other than committed."

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