Carragher: Hodgson needs time
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is aware things could get worse before they get better at Anfield but is confident the players can turn around a disappointing start to the season.
The 32-year-old defender pointed to Liverpool's recent history when they have changed managers as a reason to be cautious. Carragher has now served under four managers at Anfield and has experienced at first hand the effect a change at the top can have in what he described as "fickle" first seasons.
But he remains optimistic the current squad, which has started the season with a number of poor performances, will begin to pick up form as the campaign continues. "I've been here before with Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez and it is always a tough start and it will progress as it goes on," said Carragher.
"In Gerard's first season we finished seventh and in Rafa's first season we finished fifth, lower than the manager before them. When a new manager comes in, everything changes. It is a work in progress and hopefully, steadily, over the course of the season we will improve.
"First seasons are very fickle. There aren't players there from the last regime but under a new manager there are big changes and you have to give him time to change things around and put his influence on the team. That was the same time Rafa and Gerard were given as well.
"It's not always a case that when you bring in a new manager everything changes - we finished seventh last year because we were the seventh-best team in the league. We are not all of a sudden going to be pulling up trees left, right and centre.
"We are bedding in a few new players and the manager is trying to get new ideas on board. We've only just started and there is a long season to go."
That season will start to look even longer should they fail to beat Premier League newcomers Blackpool at Anfield tomorrow. And not only is a victory required, a half-decent performance would be welcome after some disjointed displays lacking in confidence. That has left the club, with only six points from their opening half-dozen games, wallowing in 16th place.
Carragher tried to play down the significance of getting a result against the Seasiders but he knows nothing other than a victory will be acceptable.
"We said against Sunderland [last Saturday] we wanted the win so every game is vital. There is no one more important than the other," he added. "If we can get three points there's then the international break so you don't want anything lingering after Sunday. Every time Liverpool play, nine times out of ten we are expected to win.
"We went away to Utrecht [for a goalless Europa League draw] and because we didn't win people were disappointed - but that is what comes on your plate at Liverpool. When we play Blackpool at home we are obviously expected to win but it won't be an easy game."
Hodgson expects Blackpool test
Hodgson admitted he had not had a lot of time to watch Ian Holloway's side prior to Thursday's UEFA Europa League match against an adventurous Dutch side but he expected to face a similar test tomorrow. And he called on his players not to allow the newcomers to settle or give them too many opportunities through unforced errors, as was the case against Utrecht.
"They play with great abandon - they don't throw caution to the wind but they chase everything down," Hodgson said. "They will take their chance coming to Anfield, which will be a great moment for them, and we have to work hard to make sure we don't give them any chances or give them any encouragement.
"Once or twice against Utrecht one or two of the situations which caused us problems came from Utrecht clearances, people under pressure smashing the ball forward and their forwards chasing it and suddenly finding themselves winning a corner or a dangerous free-kick.
"There will be plenty of that against Blackpool; we must be prepared for it and make certain we have the positional play right and the composure so we don't give them goal chances which they have not worked hard to create.
"I do know from the excerpts I have seen on television that they have tenacity and energy. Those are two excellent qualities and any team which can show high energy, keep up their enthusiasm, and shows tenacity and determination have got half a chance, whatever happens."