Hodgson apologises for loss


LIVERPOOL, December 30 – Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insisted he could cope with the mocking taunts of supporters after his struggling side hit rock bottom this season.Fans turned on Hodgson during a shocking 1-0 home defeat by relegation-threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield here on Wednesday.

Thousands sarcastically chanted "Hodgson for England" after he replaced David Ngog with Ryan Babel during the second half while they also bellowed the name of club legend and former boss Kenny Dalglish.

Dalglish was overlooked for the manager’s position when Rafa Benitez left in pre-season.

"I am getting used to it," said Hodgson after Stephen Ward’s 56th minute goal sentenced Liverpool to a third defeat in four games.

"That’s the way it is. He (Dalglish) was a rival for the job but the job was given to me and he is a Liverpool legend," the former Fulham manager added.

"I don’t like hearing those things. I am trying to do the best job I can and I am working hard. It is not something I appreciate but it is not something I can control.

"It’s the Kop’s way of showing they are not happy with the way the team is playing. As manager, you have to accept responsibility for that and take it on the chin.

"We have had to live with that for some time. Ever since I came here the famous Anfield support hasn’t really been there," said Hodgson in a remark that risked alienating yet more sections of Liverpool’s core support.

"There was the problem with the owners and Kenny being so popular and the job going to me — so I have had to live with that.

"I have to hope the fans will become supporters because we need support. We are not deliberately losing games," said the 63-year-old Hodgson.

"You have seen these players before. They are just not playing like they have done in the past so I think it is time for the fans to really help as well," added Hodgson, who has managed in several European countries including a spell at Italy’s Inter Milan.

"It is not for lack of trying that we are not winning matches. Maybe we are lacking quality and lacking confidence and the negativity doesn’t help. The players are not getting on the ball for fear of making mistakes."

Liverpool end 2010 in 12th place in the Premier League but just three points above the relegation zone and another home defeat to Bolton on New Year’s Day could spell the end of Hodgson’s six month reign.

"Disappointing is the buzzword for the moment but I don’t know if it deserves a stronger word than that," Hodgson said of Liverpool’s first loss to Wolves in 26 years.

"It was as bad a team performance as we have given, certainly here at Anfield. And to compound the problem we ended up giving them a goal.

"So instead of a disappointing 0-0 it was an even more disappointing 0-1. They stuck to their gameplan well, were very physical and won challenges all over the field.

"It was a sad way to end 2010 and a sad way to play the first game for a few weeks in front of our own supporters when we were anxious to show them we could climb the table.

"We let them down and they showed us what they thought of it and I would probably have done the same in their position.

"There were not many of our players who could come off the field and say they had given all they could have."

Wolves kicked-off bottom of the table but they are now above West Ham, who they face at Upton Park on Saturday.

"Most people’s perception of Wolves would be ‘they are going down, they are bottom of the league and just been beaten at home by Wigan so they will come here (Anfield), sit back and get our backsides slapped and our bellies tickled and go home with nothing’," said manager Mick McCarthy.

"But we decided we were not having that. We would come here and have a real go and fortune favoured the brave."