Roy relying on key Reds duo

11 November 2010 02:12
iverpool boss Roy Hodgson accepts he will have to rely heavily on Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to bring success back to the club.

The pair would be the key players in any team but with a lack of depth being compounded by a number of injuries their roles have become even more important.

That is highlighted by the fact that, apart from David Ngog's strike against Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season, all Liverpool's league goals have either been created or scored by those two.

They were at it again in the 1-1 draw at Wigan on Wednesday night with Gerrard's perfectly-weighted 30-yard through-ball allowing the Spain international to run through and shoot past goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi with consummate ease.

Torres almost returned the favour late in the second half when he released his team-mate to crash a shot against the crossbar.

With three goals in his last two matches the 26-year-old Spaniard appears to be approaching his best form again and with his link-up play with Gerrard, which in the past has provided him with plenty of ammunition, back in synch Hodgson expects Liverpool to flourish.

"It was an excellent goal and the move and the counter-attack and the combination play once again between Torres and Gerrard which got the latter in for his shot off the underside of the crossbar was another good example," said the Reds boss.

"But that is what you expect from players of their ability. Everyone knows they are international stars of the Premier League.

"If we are going to do well this season we need those two firing on all cylinders, we need Torres' goals and Gerrard's manipulation and control of the midfield.

"We only saw it in glimpses against Wigan whereas against Chelsea and in our previous victories against Napoli, Blackburn and Bolton it was present in much larger doses.

"But it was tough going to Wigan. We are on a good run but after four straight victories you know it is going to be hard to get the fifth.

"I suppose I have to be satisfied in some ways we are still unbeaten and we are one more point towards the total we want to achieve."

The re-emergence of the Gerrard/Torres axis is timely as several players, both new arrivals and those adapting to the manager's methods, are still only finding their feet.

Hodgson's problems have not been helped by a number of injuries and illness which have restricted his options and left him depending on his two star players.

On Wednesday night he was without defenders Sotirios Krygiakos (tonsilitis), Daniel Agger (calf) and Glen Johnson (groin), midfielders Joe Cole (hamstring) and Ryan Babel (ribs) and lost Raul Meireles to sickness at half-time.

Hodgson hopes to strengthen in the January transfer window, with his focus up front and in defence.

"Where we are badly off is if something goes badly wrong at the back, where we don't have a lot of players to cover," he added.

"Up front if Fernando or David Ngog are not able to play we don't have options in terms of out-and-out centre-forwards,

"Those are a couple of areas where we need to look for help in the January transfer window."

Source: Team_Talk