Beleaguered Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson claimed his team had performed well in their 2-0 defeat at Everton in Sunday's Merseyside derby and looked to the future with muted optimism.
The league table made less happy viewing for Liverpool, of course, as the loss left them rooted in the bottom three of the Premier League with just six points from their first eight games. However, with new American owners under the leadership of John W. Henry, now in command at Anfield, Hodgson has some cause to look forward to the remainder of what has so far been an instantly forgettable season, although the manager did concede he had been unable to deliver a dream start to his new employers.
"Of course I feel that disappointment," he said. "This would have been an ideal opportunity to really turn things around on the back of a positive response to our new owners, the way that news has been received. To get a result would have been utopia but I can only analyse the performance.
"There is no point attempting to analyse dreams. The dream was we would come here on the back of new owners and win the game. We had to play the game to do that and, in my opinion, we played that game as well as we have played a game this season."
Spanish striker Fernando Torres, the club's talisman in good times, appears to lack confidence and sharpness at present although Hodgson was unwilling to accept that any more of his players were in such a state. "You're talking about one player," said Hodgson. "Fernando is going through a bad time, his confidence is low, he needs a goal, so if you are talking about him, I would have to agree.
"But I wouldn't say it of too many more. People are playing under pressure, that's the bottom line when you have six points from eight games, and every game we don't win, the pressure builds up even more. That will affect confidence in the long run but I have to say I thought it was a sterling performance that the players gave in the second half."
Hodgson is expected to meet with his new owner early this week to discuss short-term plans and, more pressingly, the January transfer window. "We think there are still a lot of things that need sorting out at the club off the field," said Hodgson.
"And at the level outside the football field I am sure they will help there, when they come and look around. They will find ways and means of aiding us in that area. The January transfer window is still two and a half months away and there is a lot of football to be played before then. We have the squad of players we have and, hopefully, they will work and win some games."
Opposite number David Moyes won his first Merseyside derby in four years at the end of a week in which he watched events off the field shrouding Liverpool's ownership and sale with curiosity. Despite never having huge amounts of money to invest in his playing staff, Moyes declared himself more than happy to be working for owner and chairman Bill Kenwright.
"It isn't all about money," said Moyes. "If we all wanted football to be about money then maybe we wouldn't enjoy it as much. We're not all going to be able to have it.
"Am I jealous? Yes. But I wouldn't swap my chairman for anyone, from America or Saudi Arabia or anywhere else. My chairman is a supporter; he backs his manager; he is behind me and supported me which is really important for any manager."