Roy Hodgson on the brink as Liverpool lose at Blackburn

Liverpool boss could be shown the door after his side slump to seventh away defeat of the season

By Michael Owen
roy hodgson
(Photo: Mikhail Slain)

roy hodgson

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE, 5 JANUARY 2011
Blackburn Rovers
3
Liverpool
1

Roy Hodgson’s tenure as the manager of Liverpool looks to be all but over after his side put in an abject performance against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

A strike on the half-hour mark from Martin Olsson followed by goals either side of the break from Benjani ensured that Steven Gerrard’s late effort was merely a consolation as Liverpool slumped to their seventh away defeat of the season.

Though Blackburn thoroughly deserved their win, they may feel fortunate that Liverpool’s back four had afforded them such good chances to take the lead, with Glen Johnson and Sotirios Kyrgiakos making notable mistakes in the build-up to Rovers’ goals.

Despite his lively start, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres’ impact on proceedings dwindled out as the minutes past, with his biggest contribution in the latter stages of the game being a miss after latching on to a high lofted ball from Joe Cole.

Gerrard offered the only glimmer of hope for the vocal travelling Liverpool supporters, drilling a shot past Mark Bunn to reduce Liverpool’s embarrassment. But minutes later, after he had been brought down by Michel Salgado, the Reds’ skipper uncharacteristically fired wide from the penalty spot.

Blackburn supporters will be incredibly pleased with their side’s performance. Rovers put in a fantastic display, both going forward and at the back, showing great endeavour and thoroughly deserving their victory.

The defeat leaves Hodgson in a precarious position, with the supporters who made the short trip to Ewood Park once again turning on the Reds’ boss by chanting the name of club legend Kenny Dalglish as well as ironically calling for the former Fulham boss to be given the England job.

It has been believed for some time now that Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool, have lost patience with Hodgson, and Wednesday’s defeat will likely hasten his Anfield exit, with Dalglish being touted as an interim replacement until a long-term appointment can be made at the end of the season.

Speaking after the game, Hodgson said: “I’m very disappointed for the fans who travelled so far and gave us such good support only to see the team concede the goals we conceded.

“I thought in the second half we did our best to retrieve a seemingly hopeless situation and get back on track and who knows, if Steven’s penalty had gone in we might have even made the last five minutes even more exciting.

“Unfortunately, when you’re Liverpool and you lose away to Blackburn there is nothing that can be said which will put a positive slant or make the situation look any brighter, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a really, really bad day.

“There’s not much more I can say other than to say to the fans that anything they’re feeling tonight, I can assure them the feeling is equally as bad and equally as depressed in the dressing room because tonight it was a performance which was anything other than the performance we wanted to give.

“In football you do what you always do. You keep going as best you can, you make certain you try and get over the result, you make certain the next result is a better one and hopefully wipes away the memory, but that’s all you can do.

“Football unfortunately throws up some good moments and bad moments, and when it throws up a bad moment there is no amount of talking that is going to change anything.

The Liverpool manager added: “It’ll be the next performance which could change things.”

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