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Monday, 27 August, 2001, 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK
Houllier backs Westerveld
Bolton's Dean Holdsworth can't believe his luck
Bolton's Dean Holdsworth can't believe his luck
Gerard Houllier has admitted that Liverpool were "let down" by Sander Westerveld's last-minute mistake which gave Bolton victory at the Reebok stadium.

But the Liverpool manager declined to condemn his Dutch keeper after the 2-1 defeat, saying: "It cost my team at least two points, but these things happen.

"Some days Sander has saved us, there's no point in condemning him because it would only add to his sadness."

I feel very sad for the players because they were unfairly let down by that blunder
Gerard Houllier
Westerveld failed to hold on to what appeared to be a harmless shot from Dean Holdsworth, allowing the ball to squirm under his body.

The error will increase pressure on Westerveld, especially in light of reports suggesting Liverpool are close to signing Feyenoord's Polish international goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

Houllier had witnessed his side, who have just won five trophies in six months, dominate the match for long spells.

But they were unable to turn that possession into the goals needed to break the hearts of Bolton's magnificent, battling top-flight newcomers.

He added: "I was not disappointed with the display of football but I feel very sad for the players because they were unfairly let down by that blunder."

Houllier also defended his team, who slipped to their first defeat since Good Friday.

He added: "I told my team their performance was marvellous, and that they lost because of a huge error.

Meanwhile, Bolton boss Sam Allardyce admitted: "I am black and blue from pinching myself that we are top of the Premiership.

"We learned out there a lot about how good Liverpool are and just what we have to contend with in the Premier League.

"But all I know is that we can now go into the two-week international break at the top of the Premiership, and that's just lovely for us."

See also:

27 Aug 01 |  Liverpool
Liverpool close in on Dudek
27 Aug 01 |  Eng Prem
Bolton stun Liverpool
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