Reds hope to transform season
Roy Hodgson admits that Liverpool's clash with Blackburn Rovers at Anfield tomorrow could transform the Reds' season.
Hodgson's side head into the weekend in the unfamiliar position of 19th in the Premier League table after a dreadful start to the season. The Reds have managed just one win in their eight matches and have lost four times in their worst opening to a campaign since 1953.
That run, coupled with last week's takeover by New England Sports Ventures, has heaped the pressure on Hodgson, who only succeeded Rafael Benitez in the close-season, to such an extent that he has been forced to deny reports that he was set to resign.
He knows Liverpool have to turn their form around to give him a chance of remaining at Anfield and sees the game against his former club Blackburn as the ideal opportunity to get the season up and running. The former Fulham manager admits he will take any sort of victory, no matter how scruffy, against Rovers.
Hodgson said: "We are going through a very bad passage at the moment and things have not gone our way for a variety of reasons. We are down at the bottom and desperately want to get away from there. But the new owners have done a lot for the club, they've given the club a lift and they did that before the Everton game [which Liverpool lost last Sunday].
"There was a certain buoyancy and a feel-good feeling and we can start to rebuild, put things right and get ourselves on a good footing once again. Of course Sunday is the ideal opportunity to do this. Unfortunately Blackburn will have something to say about that. They won't be lying down.
"We need to give ourselves a bit of breathing space in order to start rebuilding and trying to move up the table rather than finding ourselves marooned."
Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen is sure that Hodgson is the man to turn Liverpool's fortunes around. Poulsen said: "I don't think you feel that he's really under pressure. He has a lot of experience, he's a really good motivator and I think we can turn it around together. Hopefully we can start on Sunday against Blackburn."
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce is hoping to take full advantage of the turmoil enveloping the Liverpool squad. He feels that the change in ownership will ultimately put Liverpool on the right track but thinks his team still have a great chance to pick up a first win at Anfield since 1993.
He said: "It's a good time to be playing them even though they have got new owners which will dampen down all the off-the-field distractions the players have had. But at the moment Liverpool are below us and it's the first time in many, many years of managing in the Premier League where I have gone there when they have been below my team.
"We have to take advantage of any lack of confidence that the Liverpool players may have. I always thought this would be a year of transition for a club that has sold off a lot of its players and Roy has a huge task, but I didn't think they would have as few points as they have at the moment.
"All the pressure of the takeover and the money situation has obviously affected the team. I feel for Roy, he seems to be bearing the brunt of the blame. If he gets enough time he will get it right."