Roy realistic over Reds targets

22 July 2010 03:25
iverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to further add to his squad before the start of the new season - but admits he has to be realistic.

The Englishman accepts he cannot match the spending power of Premier League rivals like Manchester City or Tottenham - but that will not stop his recruitment drive.

Having already acquired Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic on free transfers, and brought in 18-year-old centre-back Danny Wilson for an initial £2million, Hodgson has to find a left-back and support for striker Fernando Torres.

Liverpool were today linked with Manchester City's England defender Wayne Bridge and AC Milan's Klaas Jan Huntelaar - both of whom would make a considerable dent in Hodgson's restricted transfer budget.

However, with Emiliano Insua on the verge of a £5million transfer to Fiorentina, winger Albert Riera in talks with Olympiacos over a move for a similar amount and £25million-rated midfielder Javier Mascherano more than likely to be leaving Anfield this summer, the Reds boss should have money made available to strengthen.

"We don't have the unlimited funds that teams like Manchester City and even Tottenham to some extent these days, seem to have," said the 62-year-old.

"On the other hand some money is being made available and we are doing everything to use that money as sensibly and as intelligently as we can.

"We had quite a good squad of players last season: Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Jose Reina - these players means there is a certain strength to the team whatever we do.

"We would like to make some changes. Every manager who comes to a new club would like to make changes, to bring in some fresh players."

Hodgson has yet to work with most of the players who are likely to make up his first-choice line-up as they have either only just returned from a delayed holiday because of the World Cup or are still on leave.

The Liverpool manager has, instead, been putting a largely reserve squad through its paces at their Switzerland training camp.

Last night he took charge for the first time in a goalless friendly against Grasshoppers with a team which had an average age of just 20.

Hodgson is keen to arrest the decline of the last decade in terms of players coming through the ranks and in the last week has given hope to a number of promising youngsters.

"It's a great opportunity for them but my real work in preparing Liverpool to play next season will begin when I get back to Melwood and find the 13 players who went to the World Cup," he said.

"If you're a young player you're waiting for that chance to get into the first team and show what you can do.

"These lads are being given a chance earlier than expected but unfortunately they are being given a chance all together.

"What you hope for when you get your chance is that all the big-hitters are around you and they make it a bit easier for you. Here we are throwing them all in together."

Academy graduate Jay Spearing is classed as one of the more experienced players present in Switzerland despite having made just seven first-team appearances.

He captained the team for the final 30 minutes of last night's game and hopes to be significantly involved again in the team's next friendly against Kaiserslauten in Germany at the weekend.

"When a new manager comes in, every single one of us have got to try to impress and listen to what he's got to say," said the 21-year-old.

"That's what we tried to do and hopefully it worked.

"There have been a lot of hard sessions every day and I think it showed in the game with the effort the whole team put in.

"The lads put in a great effort and I am looking forward to Saturday now."

Source: Team_Talk