Hodgson defends Rovers 'failure'

02 July 2010 07:13
ew Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has defended his record in English football and insisted he has learned from failures earlier in his career.[LNB] The 62-year-old's appointment on a three-year contract at Anfield has received a lukewarm response in some quarters.[LNB]Despite his relative success with Fulham, making them a solid mid-table Premier League side and guiding them to the Europa League final, there are those who still remember his unsuccessful spell at Blackburn between 1997 and 1998.[LNB]Hodgson led a side which narrowly escaped relegation to a sixth-placed finish in his first season only to be sacked in December 1998 with the club bottom of the table.[LNB]But Hodgson still defends his time at Ewood Park.[LNB]"Blackburn was the only place I have been sacked and that was somewhat harsh," he said.[LNB]"I took a team which had avoided relegation by one point into European football and then lost four of the very best players - three to injury and one to a forced sale to Rangers - the following year.[LNB]"Admittedly the start of the following season was not as good and we built up expectations but it is difficult for me to see Blackburn as a complete failure.[LNB]"I did make mistakes there; you always make mistakes when you fail somewhere.[LNB]"I have analysed those failures but I don't think they were quite as blatant as some people would like to think."[LNB]The former Inter Milan boss also hit out at critics who say he has not had enough experience at big clubs.[LNB]"Blackburn were a top side when I went there, we finished sixth in the league, Udinese have had success in the past and the four years I had with the Swiss national team going to the World Cup and European championships was successful.[LNB]"I regard comments like that as far too insular."[LNB]If expectations were high at Blackburn the targets Hodgson will be set at Liverpool will be astronomical in comparison.[LNB]First he has to persuade star players Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to stay, then he has to somehow strengthen a squad lacking in depth on a very tight budget and finally get the club back into the Champions League after finishing seventh last season.[LNB]Hodgson wants to bring in some new faces but will fully assess the merits of the squad he has inherited before making any decisions.[LNB]"I haven't had time to sit down with the chairman (Martin Broughton), chief executive (Christian Purslow), with Kenny Dalglish, Sammy Lee, with Eduardo (Macia), the chief scout," he said.[LNB]"Before we decide what we need I need to canvas the opinions of all these people about what has been going on.[LNB]"I need to hear what the backroom staff think and not base my opinions on the Liverpool matches I saw this season.[LNB]"We need some players and I would like to come into the club with one or two players which will freshen things up.[LNB]"But we have to make very good decisions and use any money we get very wisely - we won't be able to splash out money left, right and centre."[LNB]

Source: Team_Talk