Henry backs current Reds set-up
New Liverpool owner John W Henry has given his firm backing to manager Roy Hodgson and the current crop of players on the eve of the Merseyside derby.
Hodgson's future has been the subject of speculation after the change of ownership, but Henry insists the former Fulham boss and the struggling team will have his full support as they battle to climb the Premier League table.
Liverpool take on Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow, the first match under new owners New England Sports Ventures, which is headed by Henry and also runs the Boston Red Sox.
Henry told the News of the World: "We know it's been an uncertain time. We talked to the players today and we talked to Roy. And I think our message was simple: 'We're here to support you and encourage you'.
"Our feeling is we're here to stabilise and to answer questions that might be lingering, and to just come in and have the same attitude we had in Boston. That is to be smart managers and to listen. Our first intention is under-promise but over-deliver."
With baseball's Red Sox, NESV have been credited with breathing new life into a struggling franchise, and Liverpool supporters will hope they can achieve similar results with their new project.
Henry said: "We bought Liverpool because this is our chance to compete at the highest level in the world's most popular sport. You don't get that very often."
He added: "We know it's about revenue and about generating the revenue to compete. In Boston we've gone toe-to-toe with the New York Yankees which is the same as going toe-to-toe with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. It's a huge challenge but we're aware how much work it's going to take to do that."
Although Henry is the figurehead of NESV, its chairman is Thomas Werner. Werner today echoed the remarks from Henry, vowing to get behind Hodgson and the team with a view to achieving success on and off the field.
Relieved to see the takeover saga conclude yesterday, Werner said: "I think it's been a very interesting rollercoaster but now our focus is on stabilising the club.
"We've been with the players this morning and the manager and we introduced ourselves, told them that we're here to be supportive, to be constructive and we have a great history in Boston of providing the resources to win and we expect to do the same."
Werner added on liverpoolfc.tv: "We look forward to spending the next few days here talking to various stakeholders and telling them about a little bit of our track record and how we're going to go about our business."
Henry has indicated he has no plans to attend tomorrow's derby, with the home match against Blackburn in eight days' time likely to see his first appearance at a Liverpool match since the takeover. Werner is eager to get to work and has promised that NESV will be careful guardians of the club.
Werner said: "I think that Liverpool is one of the great clubs in all of sport, it's history, it's tradition, it's fans - in some ways it's similar to the fans of the Boston Red Sox in that they're loyal, they're passionate and it's our good fortune to be stewards and we hope that we will take care of this extraordinary club and provide it with the resources and the commitment to win in the near future and hopefully restore some of its lustre."