Former players react to Hodgson exit
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Liverpool legend Phil Thompson said the "unprecedented" manner in which fans turned against Roy Hodgson was behind the manager's exit from Anfield today.

Thompson told Sky Sports that although Hodgson inherited a difficult situation when he took over last year, the writing was on the wall for the 63-year-old once he lost the support of the Kop.

"Six months is not long enough, not just for Liverpool but for all managers," Thompson said. "Everybody should have a chance. What we've seen at Liverpool in the last month has been unprecedented, unparalleled in the way the fans have turned. Even in the dark days of Graeme Souness' reign, there were no universal chants for Graeme to go.

What we've seen at Liverpool in the last month has been unprecedented, unparalleled in the way the fans have turned.
Phil Thompson, former Liverpool captain

"Liverpool fans felt as though we were different, we don't do things like that, we stick together and we stick with the club. Now the fans had even started taking the mickey out of their own manager, chanting 'You're getting sacked in the morning.' That is incredible."

Pressure on Hodgson reached unbearable levels with a defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. That followed a New Year's Day win over Bolton Wanderers at Anfield which saw an estimated 10,000 fans stay away. Thompson's former team-mate, four-time European Cup winner Phil Neal, said he hoped Hodgson's replacement Kenny Dalglish would bring the club together.

"With the fixtures coming thick and fast we've got to be a unit and Kenny would be the first man to stand in and maybe create a bit of the old type of togetherness along with the fans," Neal told Sky Sports.

"It's the right stop-gap thing. He's a quality person, knows all about togetherness...the body language of some of our players was concerning to all the Liverpool ex-players because they didn't look like they enjoyed playing with each other.

"That's concerning because other clubs have gone down the leagues because they've sacked their manager and can't find a better one. I hope that's not the case with Liverpool."

He has still got a great affiliation with the Liverpool fans and there is nothing he would love more than to come back at this stage and be a major success.
Ray Houghton on Kenny Dalglish

Ray Houghton, signed by Dalglish during his six-year reign as Liverpool manager between 1985 and 1991, said he believed the Anfield icon would breathe new life into the beleaguered first team squad.

"He has still got a great affiliation with the Liverpool fans and there is nothing he would love more than to come back at this stage and be a major success. I really hope so. I hope Kenny can come in and energise the squad. I am sure he will by his name alone and I think he will put a few smiles on people's faces.

"I think maybe Roy lost the fans. When you read those quotes about fans not getting behind him - that was a decision that backfired on him. Plus when you arrive at the training ground and see 'Hodgson out' - once you see that the fans are well offside with you, you have virtually no chance."

Dalglish inherits 'team in decline'
Meanwhile former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson cautioned that Dalglish was inheriting a weak squad and warned it would take a long time for the club to become a force again."Roy leaving was inevitable but I was one of those who thought he was a sensible appointment," Lawrenson told the BBC.

"The trouble is, Liverpool are a team in decline, with average players and I think unfortunately Roy was the wrong man at the wrong time for Liverpool and it has been a case of thanks but no thanks.

"I consider Kenny a friend and I just hope that whatever happens from now until the end of the season doesn't sully his name. I don't want it to damage his reputation because ultimately you can only be as good as your worst player. It will take Liverpool a long time to get back into that top four, especially with Tottenham and Manchester City going so strongly."