Hodgson keen to keep star players

01 July 2010 01:13
New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has made the retention of star players like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard his main priority after being confirmed in the Anfield hot-seat. Hodgson was unveiled as Rafael Benitez's successor on a three-year contract on Thursday to bring to an end a four-week search for a new manager. During that time the futures of Spain striker Torres and captain Gerrard have been the subject of intense speculation following suggestions that a lack of on-pitch success and off-field uncertainty at boardroom level could lead to one or both moving on this summer. However, Hodgson is hoping use his first few days at the helm to persuade both players that their futures remain at Anfield. "I don't think there's anybody here at the club who would welcome losing them. Certainly the fans wouldn't welcome losing them and us as a club I'm sure will do everything we can to make certain they stay with us," he told the club's official website. "I'll be trying to persuade them that this is the place to be. I'll ask them to give me a chance give us a chance to improve on last season. "They're all disappointed, I'm sure, after last season's results and I'll be doing my level best. "It would be foolish to give guarantees that it's going to happen because I can't speak for the players themselves, but I'll be doing my best to keep them." Asked about his own transfer plans and the type of budget he can expect to receive, the former Fulham boss explained: "One thing they made clear to me is we have to work within whatever restraints are in place at the club. "But they've also made clear that if we were unfortunate to lose somebody then that money would be made available. "I'm hoping that won't be the case because I don't want to lose anybody, but we haven't gone much further than that." Meanwhile, Hodgson has admitted that his main task is to improve the fortunes of a club which lost 19 games in all competitions last season and finished a disappointing seventh in the final Premier League table. "For Liverpool the ambition always has to be to try and achieve a Champions League place and that's what we'll be trying to do as soon as possible," he continued. "There's no point throwing out empty promises. Words are words and actions are actions and we have to show by our actions first of all on the training field and then at Anfield and other stadiums that we're ready and good enough. "That's my task, to work with the players and ensure we are good enough."

Source: ESA

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